Encouraging Children to Brush their Teeth Correctly

Encouraging children to brush their teeth correctly is a paid collaboration with Playbrush.  I have one child that is happy to brush their teeth and another that hates it and will avoid it at all costs and we have been using a Playbrush since December 2016, so was delighted when they wanted to work with us again to share with you why it works for us and how simple it is to use. Plus I think they would be a great gift to pop in any Easter baskets with all the other treats.

Encouraging Children to Brush their Teeth Correctly

To start with Playbrush attaches to a normal manual toothbrush so you can change them to suit the age and preference of your child.  As my boys have got older we use different brushes and each of the ones we have tried has fitted perfectly in the playbrush adapter.

Encouraging Children to Brush their Teeth Correctly

Basically, Playbrush turns your manual toothbrush into a game controller. It allows your child to control mobile games with their brushing movement and this is where it helps them brush their teeth correctly.  The games are interactive (action & reaction), which measures speed, duration and position to be able to get good brushing feedback. The algorithm is designed in a way that kids brush all around their mouth.  It is a technology used for good.  You can see from the feedback on Mini brushing his teeth this week that he is having issues brushing his inner bottom teeth, which is true as he lost two teeth in that area this week and his mouth is still tender.

I think that this is a fantastic way to encourage children to brush all of their teeth over a recommended two-minute duration independently.

The Playbrush is super simple to set up, in fact, all you need to do is download the app (IOS or Android) to your phone or tablet and then follow the instructions on the screen.  it took less than one minute and it only took a few minutes to charge the base via USB and it stays charged a couple of weeks in our experience.

What we like:

  • You only need one Playbrush adapter for numerous children – the boys used to share the base, but both had a profile on my phone (now on their own phones).
  • You can use your own manual toothbrush which is age appropriate.
  • It teaches the correct style of brushing and duration.
  • The app is free and easy to use, plus it has different games to hold their attention.
  • As a parent, I loved the report so we can work on areas to improve.
  • It empowers your children to brush their own teeth.
  • It charges really quickly and holds its charge.
  • It connects via Bluetooth so no wifi needed.

We weren’t keen: 

  • The thought of bringing tech into the bathroom concerned me.  Water and a phone – uh oh.  But they have thought of that with a pouch for the phone or tablet. We bought a stick on soap dish for Mini’s iPod and it is perfect as our tiles didn’t allow for the pouch to stick on. We are still using this soap dish over a year later.
  • The base isn’t waterproof, although improvements have been made with a rubber bung over the charging area.

I am not going to lie and I still do have some issues with Mini brushing his teeth but he is so much better than he used to be.

Tips for encouraging children to brush their teeth correctly:

  • Give your child control or the illusion of control.  Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Finding a suitable toothpaste can be a challenge.  We ended up trying nearly all of the ones in the supermarket.  Some were too strong, others too frothy and others too blue (don’t ask)!
  • The same can go for a toothbrush.  We have tried an electric sonic toothbrush in the hope that it would do a better job over a shorter period of time, but in the end went back to a soft bristle brush for Mini.  If a toothbrush is too much then try toothette with a sponge or even a finger to start with.
  • Small thing can make a big difference.  Is the water too cold?  Tepid water is better for Mini.
  • Let them brush your teeth whilst you are brushing theirs.  This can take their mind off it.
  • Establish a routine so that they know what to expect. We used to have a timer, so Mini could see how long was left.
  • I am a fan of disclosing tablets.    These are small purple tablets that we chew and they dye the plaque on our teeth a purple colour for new plaque and red for older plaque.  We all do this and then see who can get their teeth clean of the colour the fastest!
  • Get your kids a (robust) mirror – they can make silly faces in it and watch themselves brushing
  • Turn brushing into a game. This is where Playbrush really came into its own for Mini.  I am not going to lie, I was really sceptical. But it really works for us.
  • Tell your child that the tooth fairy pays less for decayed teeth!

Why not take a look at this video Mini and I popped together and see if you can catch where he falls in a bth with water in – alas this was the second time and only hius leg got wet, I didnt have the camera on the first time!