Urgh. Kids and teeth brushing. These two things rarely go together well in my house and I can pretty much guarantee that I will loose my mind the two times per day that this event occurs. It’s so painful. And is possibly responsible for at least 3 of my units of alcohol consumed each week.
The eldest one is much better now and will brush by himself and then I do an ‘inspection brush’ at the end. The middle one literally crawls up the stairs and melts into the carpet as he does so in a bid to delay things and the toddler, well, let’s just say I have to use some force (not quite a headlock but close enough) to get him to open his mouth so I can brush his little pegs. It’s a battle that’s for sure.
When I was contacted the other week by the lovely folks from Playbrush to see if I would like to review one, I of course, firstly, shuddered at the mere thought of tooth brushing and then I quickly decided it was a splendid idea to see if it helped at all so said I yes please!
Who and what is Playbrush?
(Excerpt from the Playbrush website)
All of us being reluctant brushers, we are here to finally make brushing teeth fun.
The Playbrush team works closely with brilliant engineers and designers, as well as fascinating advisors, including renowned dentists, public health specialists, academics, entrepreneurs and investors.
Furthermore, we have been supported by many people during our Kickstarter game. To honor this support (and as we promised during our Kickstarter campaign) we created a virtual brushing wall. Have a look and check it out!
The story is pretty simple: We were inspired by a little boy – let’s call him Kiwi – who is a reluctant brusher. Like all kids, Kiwi is a curious adventurer, exploring the world and seeking new challenges. But Kiwi’s caring mother knows about the importance of dental health and therefore encourages him to brush his teeth twice a day – which is not an adventure at all. Why should he participate in this boring and annoying routine?
Although 20 years older, all of us are still reluctant brushers, experiencing painful and frightening dentist appointments once or twice a year. Despite some of us even having family backgrounds in dentistry, we are not brushing regularly, long enough and accurately.
Therefore we are not only building Playbrush for children – but also for everyone!
So, as you can see from the above information, Playbrush has been designed to make the most mundane of tasks, tooth brushing, more fun! A simple idea, but one that I think is absolutely brilliant! They always say that the simple ideas are the most effective don’t they?!
I decided to give our sample Playbrush to Zak, our middle one.
He is 7 and is the most headstrong (aka, stubborn) of the three kids so far. If he doesn’t want to do something, the whole world will feel his pain before he eventually gives in and does as he’s been asked. As I said earlier, it’s painful.
The box contains a tooth brush, instructions, the Playbrush base dock, smart phone holder for the bathroom and a USB charging cable. It is available in a choice of colours.
Zak excitedly opened the box and after charging the little base unit up for about an hour and downloading the free apps onto my phone and Zak’s iPad Mini, the Playbrush was almost good to go! The last thing to do was to pop the tooth brush into the Playbrush dock itself (it’s a rubbery contraption that just sits on the end of the brush. It isn’t invasive nor is it heavy) and then he was all set to brush!
The jist of it is that you play the games on device as you brush and the Playbrush unit registers (via Blutooth) the movements your child is making as they brush. This then makes the character in the game speed up and progress in order to collect more points. At the end of the brushing session, your child is then given a points score (which is shown on a leaderboard against other children, nothing like a bit of competition to spur them on!) and is told where they brushed well, and also where they didn’t. I have found this super helpful and Zak likes to know where he can improve too so this feedback is brilliant.
There are about 4 games to choose from on the app store at the moment so your kids are unlikely to get bored with them. Zak has two of them and has loved playing so far, his favourite one is flying the little character in a helicopter!
Zak is actually asking to brush his teeth now and the day we got the Playbrush, he brushed his teeth twice in the space of 2 hours just so he could play the games! Transformation or what?!
I would honestly thoroughly recommend a Playbrush to anyone. I don’t think the novelty will wear off and I can fully envisage getting my eldest son one for Christmas as a stocking filler. He has been a bit jealous of his brother at tooth brushing time I have to say.
Make sure the tooth fairy (and dentist) is over the moon with those little gnashers and give it a whirl!