Make Oral Hygiene a Game for Your Child
Have you ever noticed that even the coolest things lose their luster? The excitement surrounding the newness of it begins to fade. A favorite teddy bear is vanquished and a new one takes its place. The can’t-forget-to-restock grocery item that everyone would devour as soon as it hit the fridge soon became stale and boring, both literally and figuratively. There are even times when something beneficial even gets tossed aside.
That’s the story I’m going to share with you today.
I first started using a Sonicare toothbrush in 2006 and became an instant fan. The difference when I used it versus when I didn’t were extremely noticeable, so I became a huge advocate. I would purchase Sonicare toothbrushes for family as gifts. I know you are saying, “What a boring, practical gift.” Yet I was always sincerely thanked afterwards. My kids were among the list of individuals. They received their Sonicare for Kids when the unit was first released. I shared that story of our first Sonicare for Kids back in 2010. The girls were so much smaller then. They were filled with excitement at the fancy-schmancy toothbrush that was just like the ones mom and dad used.
Since that time, they’ve been given toothbrushes at the dentist, during health fairs and of course from marketing teams. Their old Sonicare for Kids began to take the backseat despite my insistence that it be part of their daily dental hygiene. While they used it at least once a day, they needed something new and exciting to reinvigorate them. I’m so happy that the innovation once again came from Sonicare in the form of an app. Kids love their technology so it was a logical step to encourage good oral care habits through gamification.
Recommended for ages 4 and up, Sonicare for Kids is a sonic toothbrush designed specifically for children. It has high and low power modes for gentle but effective cleaning. It also includes a built-in timer that gradually works up to the dentist-recommended time of two minutes. Every 30 seconds it buzzes to tell you to switch to the next quadrant of your mouth. It’s a great idea as long as you’re fully focused on completing each particular quadrant thoroughly before moving on to the next. I’ll admit on occasion I’ve had to repeat a section and restart the timer to make sure each is cleaned appropriately. Unfortunately kids aren’t quite as alert to those kinds of minute details.
That’s the beauty of the Sonicare for Kids app. Using an iOS device, the child loads the app and proceeds to follow the instructions of adopting a Sparkly. The app then guides the child through the process of properly navigating the mouth and clearing up all the messy spots. With each proper cleaning, the child is awarded treats or other surprises for their Sparkly friend. I was pleased when I discovered that even our 12 year old (gamer geek) daughter enjoyed this new aspect of brushing her teeth!
Every day, I hear the girls asking each other what they received for Sparkly. Sometimes it is a new background or accessories, sometimes food and other times paint to give the Sparkly a new color. Like any game, the more you play, the more you earn. Since this correlates to brushing teeth, the phrase “It’s like pulling teeth” doesn’t resonate. There is no coaxing, begging, pleading or demanding that they brush each morning and evening!
As a bonus, the package comes with a variety of cover plate stickers to allow your child to personalize their particular Sonicare for Kids toothbrush. I cannot stress enough the importance of being able to identify which toothbrush belongs to who. Especially when traveling!
The only thing that we found difficult about the Sonicare for Kids connected toothbrush is that it requires use of an iOS device with Bluetooth. That’s all fine and dandy since we have those in the home, but it definitely caused a few issues when the girls wanted to brush their teeth at the same time, in the same bathroom. They figured out how to do it by starting at the exact same time. Of course, at bedtime they know our rules regarding electronics. Each child either needs to take their device back to the charging station prior to going to bed or they need to give it to me when I tuck them in.
If it takes an app to get them to want to brush their teeth properly MORE THAN ONCE A DAY and even when I don’t ask them, then the Sonicare for Kids connected toothbrush deserves an award or two. If you’re looking for ways to get your kids to brush their teeth better, telling them to play a game might very well be the solution!
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to brushing?
24 thoughts on “Make Oral Hygiene a Game for Your Child”
I would say the time it takes.
That is so cute. This will have the kids brush their teeth longer. You know how kids love to hurry up when brushing their teeth.
I really like SonicCare toothbrushes and those ones for kids are really cute. Fortunately we don’t have many challenges with brushing – my daughter loves to brush her teeth now.
This is genius! I’m a dentist, so when I have a hard time getting my kids to brush, I feel like a big fat failure. This is a phenomenal idea. Thanks!
Keeping our teeth clean and healthy is a hard concept for children. And then as adults we wish we had taken better care of out teeth as kids. The Sonicare toothbrush and app are brilliant! It makes learning important healthy teeth habits a game. Perfect for kids!
My youngest doesn’t mind brushing at all. We taught him early to go in there and get it done and that’s what he does. He even turns the water off while he brushes!
This is so neat! great way to get kids to brush longer <3
That is great incentive to keeping your teeth healthy. I like that it keeps kids on track for proper brushing. Neat app.
Oral care is so important! Our dentist recommended a Sonicare for our son because he has Down syndrome, and has weak muscle tone and challenges in his fine motor, but wants to be independent! (That was a few years ago–and no cavities!) Great advice! Great post!
This is so great! As we move into wanting more independence, this is a great tool to help make sure she’s getting all her teeth! I love that we can personalize her brush, too. My sweet lady loves to leave her mark!
My kids would love this. It would really help them brush their teeth.
I was looking for a good electric toothbrush for my kids. Well I guess I found it, this app. is great! Would help them make sure they brush well while having fun.
How fantastic is this! I have one out of 6 who really thinks brushing his teeth is a hassle so this could be fun for him! I think this is just a great idea!
It’s very important that we teach our kids about proper oral care. This is the fun way to do it.
I had no idea they made these for kids! How cool!
This is a very cool idea, I think it could be beneficial in getting kids motivated to brush!
What a great idea! My 5-year-old still wants me to brush his teeth, so maybe with a brush like this, he could do it easier himself. I love the game aspect too.
This is such a great app! My son brushes his teeth for like two seconds. Something like this would encourage him to brush for longer.
What a great app to encourage good dental hygiene. Wish they’d had this when my children were little!
love this and didn’t even know it was so interactive! Great ideas!!
I am all for finding fun new ways to encourage better oral hygiene among my kids. I love that it buzzes to alert kids to switch brushing areas.
YES! So so important for kids to focus on their teeth and their health!
I will try anything to make my son brush more often and better.