It can be hard to to convince small children to brush their teeth, as they would often rather spend those few minutes each morning and night playing a game or watching television. A new mobile application, however, aims to make brushing and flossing just as fun as some of a child's favorite activities.
Toothsavers, available on Android and iOS devices, was created by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths – a coalition of dental organizations that includes the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). The game encourages kids to brush for two minutes twice a day by enlisting them to defeat a cavtity-creating sorceress who has cast a spell on some familiar fairy tale characters.
"Mobile technology plays a major role in influencing young people's behavior and is a great fit for this campaign," said Peggy Conlon, CEO of the Ad Council, in a press release. "We're thrilled to release our first mobile game, which represents our ongoing efforts to use technology to promote health, education and well-being. We look forward to using this app to help kids maintain healthy oral health habits, and have fun while doing it!"
According to the Partnership, dental decay affects more than 16.5 million children in the United States and causes them to miss 51 million school hours annually. The aim of Toothsavers is to teach children the importance of maintaining oral health and help parents keep track of what their kids are doing.
Assisting your child in keeping their teeth healthy also includes scheduling an orthodontic evaluation. The AAO recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by age seven at the latest for an initial screening.