February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and while the statistics about children’s oral health are improving, we still have a way to go – up to a quarter of young children in the UK suffer from tooth decay and it remains the most common hospital procedure among 6-10-year-olds. If you have a reluctant young brusher in your family, here are some fun apps to boost their motivation.
Music is a great way to turn a tedious chore into a fun activity – with Brush DJ, kids can choose their favourite songs (taken from the music library on your mobile device) to sing along to while they brush. The app plays two minutes of music so kids can make sure they brush for the recommended amount of time each day, and it buzzes every 30 seconds to remind them to switch side. Enthusiastic applause rewards them at the end of each brushing session. You can also use it to set reminders for oral health tasks such as replacing toothbrushes and visiting the dentist.
Turn tooth brushing into a game with this free iOS app that encourages kids to save the fairy tale kingdom by scrubbing away an evil sorceress’s spell from the teeth of its quirky inhabitants. Every few days, users can unlock a new Toothsaver to brush with, eventually earning the chance to battle the evil sorceress. The app is a good way of encouraging children to brush for the full two minutes each time, so they achieve the in-game milestones.
Featuring favourite Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, and the cast of Frozen, Cars, and Star Wars, Disney MagicTimer encourages kids to brush for longer by unveiling a secret image that is gradually revealed as they brush. Frequent brushing earns them badges and rewards, and they can collect their digital stickers in a virtual album. The app is a collaboration between Disney and Oral-B and is available on both iOS and Android (note that you’ll need to purchase an Oral-B toothbrush to unlock different characters).
Chomper Chums features colourful animated characters that help to encourage healthy eating and brushing habits by interacting with kids as they brush. By brushing for the full two minutes, kids can earn digital coins to feed their character animal and the healthier the food they pick, the healthier their character becomes. The app is a good choice for 4-11-year-olds who are learning about proper brushing techniques and healthy oral habits.
Brush Up uses Budd the Toothbrush Tutor to teach kids proper brushing techniques by rewarding them points that unlock in-game prizes. A ‘selfie assessment’ lets parents check that their kids are reaching every tooth surface by following along with Budd as they brush. Research from the National Institute of Health indicates that children’s brushing habits noticeably improve after playing Brush Up for two weeks.
Is your child due for a check-up appointment? We’re always delighted to see younger patients at St Peter’s Lodge and go out of our way to make sure they feel at ease with us. Call us today or book online.