Brushing teeth has been around for a while. We’ve come a long way from chewing on bark, but the basics are still in place. Our teeth and mouth are happier and healthier with regular scrubbing. And yet, it isn’t always the easiest thing to make a habit. The habit will last longer if we start earlier.

Kids dental health tips

(Pixabay / ArtsyBee)

We’ve written before about how to start early with kids and their teeth. Start scrubbing those adorable gums early and regularly to get them used to the sensation and the habit. However, kids get older, and their opinions grow as fast as their feet. Those opinions sometimes don’t include a love of regular dental care. Don’t worry about investing in dentures yet, there are ways to make brushing more fun and easier to remember. And, we won’t judge you at all for using some of these ideas for yourself. Brushing teeth should last two minutes. These tools might make those two minutes a bright spot in your day. Let’s brush!

Disney Magic Timer
If anyone can get us to brush our teeth, it’s that magical mouse. What can make two minutes whiz by faster than beloved Disney tunes? Plus, it offers tips and tricks on the right way to brush teeth. (Remember that 45-degree angle on the brush!) Plus, you get rewards. We never outgrow a good pat on the back. It’s a free app available on iTunes and Google Play.

Toothsavers Brushing Game
You’re not only fighting cavities, you are fighting evil!!! See, that makes brushing your teeth WAY more interesting. This game encourages thorough technique and allows you to open up new levels and meet new characters as you battle the plaque with consistency and courage. Brushing teeth can feel downright heroic. Capes are optional.

Brush DJ
This is a fun app that lets you connect your favorite tunes to those two magical minutes, twice a day. Brushing your teeth and dancing at the same time? That is one very cool way to start and end your day. The app is free and available on iTunes and Google Play. It’s just music, not technique, so it might be a better fit for older kids. And you might need to make sure that the toothbrush is actually moving around as well as your hips!

My Teeth
This is an app that lets your kids (or you!) pick a character and follow along as they brush their teeth. It gives a little story about the character and provides a virtual toothbrushing “buddy.” The app costs $1.99, but it is a great investment for clean teeth and fresh breath.

My Bright Smile
Colgate has created a free and fun app to give wonderful reminders and tips for kids. Dentists make cameos on technique, and the app talks about more than just brushing and flossing. It gives tips on nutrition, too, and encourages visits to the dentist, which we agree with 100%.

This is another fun app that connects whimsical characters to the chore of brushing teeth. There are adorable little monsters that cheer you on as you brush your teeth. Kids can also have some fun changing hair and clothes and colors before the timer begins for brushing. The monsters will guide them in technique as well.

Old School
You won’t need a link for this one. There are plenty of old fashioned ways to encourage good brushing and flossing. Stickers have gotten kids (and adults) to do a lot of things for a very long time. Print out a simple sticker chart and get an old fashioned timer (or your smart phone timer). Set it to two minutes and get to work.

Brushing teeth side by side with your kids can be a fun way to check their technique and get the job done at the same time. You can even dance if you want, and you can play any tune your heart desires. Slap a sticker on that chart and pick a fun reward when it is all filled up! Try to think of a reward that won’t undo all the good work the brushing has done. Instead of a candy treat, maybe it can be a solo adventure, a trip to the park, a new book, or an extra late bedtime. And sticker charts aren’t just for kids! Fill up one of these charts on your own and earn an extra long bubble bath, a new book, or a splurge at your favorite store.

There are many more apps that any search can turn up, but the best thing we can do for our kids and ourselves is to focus on why we brush our teeth. The music and games are a fun reminder and distraction, but if we focus on the benefits of the healthy habit, then it is more likely to become a lifelong habit. Modeling good dental care is better than any app. Staying positive about the dentist and building it up as a positive experience will go far in encouraging good dental practices and regular visits to the dentist.

We are your Davis County family dentist and are here to help keep you smiling. Hopefully, some of these apps and games will help create habits for you and your family that will make your visits to us quick and easy and keep your smile healthy and happy for a long time.