Monday, November 10, 2014

Oral-B's fun app to make kids brush longer

{Oral-B Feature}

One of the daily routines DaddySay and I insist as parents is for our kids to brush their teeth. Twice a day, at the minimum.

It is not as easy task. Young as they are, my kids don't see it important. To them, playing and TV and everything else is more important than brushing. I keep telling EV and AA: it's important to brush their teeth, because it helps to get rid of residue and particles from the food they eat all day. If they don't, all these particles will accumulate and germs will grow and build 'homes' in their teeth, which leads to bad breath and even toothaches. I believe that it's crucial to tell them the right facts from a young age.

But thankfully, so far so good. Both kids have been brushing their teeth diligently (amidst lots of delay and whining). And of course, modeling by adults play a huge part too. I love to see DaddySay bring EV to brush her teeth in the mornings, and whenever she says 'Daddy, I'm done!' within a few seconds of getting her brush in her mouth, DaddySay will say 'brush longer!', and EV will grudgingly do so. So it seems,, brushing teeth just isn't a fun thing to do.

So I discovered the Disney Magic Timer™ app by Oral-B. It's designed to encourage kids to brush longer, have more fun while doing it, and gain rewards every time they brush.

Oral B App 1

Ok, I admit, I generally don't encourage my kids to have any screen time. Compared to DaddySay, I am more strict. EV and AA can have screen time, within very limited restrictions. So generally, I don't have many apps for kids.

Having downloaded the Disney Magic Timer™ app and tried it myself first, I do think it's quite a well-designed app which fulfills its purpose.

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Different profiles can be set for different users, using different Disney or Marvel characters. Once that's done, one can snap a photo of a Oral-B toothbrush to signal to the app that one is standing by to brush the teeth. Then the fun begins.

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The whole screen will be filled with white foam, with a brush and timer set to two minutes.

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Oral B App 9
As the timer counts down, the brush will 'brush' the foam off the screen to reveal a picture. The idea is that the kid will continue brushing for two minutes as he or she watches the picture being revealed, while being serenaded by music and the ticking of the timer. It's a different picture each time.

Oral B App 10

When two minutes is up, the timer rings, and a sticker reward is given.

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A star achievement is also added to a brushing calendar, which can be accessed at any time to see the daily progress. Brushing is tracked twice daily, so if one has just brushed not long ago, the app actually does not allow you to brush again until at night. Intuitive isn't it?

So this ingenious app really makes brushing more fun for kids. But what I think is most significant is the rewards that it gives for each brushing and the ability to track brushing progress. This way, kids feel happy to get the stickers, albeit electronic ones, but parents can also sit kids down to talk about daily brushing, if at any time, kids throws tantrums and refuses to brush their teeth. Showing the brushing calendar gives more inspiration and motivation to keep brushing twice daily, eventually building a healthy habit. What's more, to make it more realistic, real stickers can be given and stick on a real calendar, to make it even more inspiring for kids to brush everyday.

For us, what we do is put the app playing behind EV and AA while they brush, so they can hear the music and timer, yet not see the screen. Being the screen controller that I am, I don't want them to cultivate the habit of looking at a screen while brushing. But this is just me. What give discovered is that the Disney Magic Timer™ app is just as effective. The music keeps EV and AA brushing longer till the timer rings, without DaddySay or I telling them so. When they get the reward, they super excited and elated. It makes them look forward to the next brushing, and the next, and the next.

So like I said in the beginning. The Disney Magic Timer™ app by Oral-B is indeed a well-designed app that fulfills its goal of making kids brush longer, in a fun and rewarding way. So download it for free, and get the kids to enjoy brushing.

Credits: Jake: ©Disney, Minnie/Mickey Mouse: ©Disney, Winnie the Pooh: ©Disney. Based on the "Winnie the Pooh" works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shephard, Avengers: ©MARVEL.

Disclaimer:  We were provided with Oral-B products and shopping vouchers for the purpose of this feature. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are my own.

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