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?