‘Smart’ Toothbrushes May Get Kids To Brush And Play At Same Time

(KPIX 5) — Ask any parent – getting little kids to brush their teeth can be a challenge. Even if you do get them to brush, they may not be doing it correctly. But a new generation of so-called “connected toothbrushes” could help on both fronts.

Among the new offerings is Grush, which bills itself as “The Gaming Toothbrush.” When paired with a phone, kids can watch a video game that shows them were to brush, and for how long. Parents also get a record of how well their child did. Other brands include Kolibree, Oral B’s Smart Series, Prophix, and Philips Sonicare Connected toothbrushes.

San Francisco-based pediatric dentist Dorothy Pang says while she hasn’t seen enough evidence that Smart Toothbrushes are more effective than the old-fashioned kind, she believes they could get kids more excited about taking care of their teeth. “I’m for anything that motivates children to brush longer and be interested,” Pang told Consumerwatch.

But Dr. Pang warns technology alone won’t do the trick, especially for young children. “Children do not develop the adequate coordination to perform a good brushing until they are beyond eight or nine,” Pang says.

Her advice? Let kids practice on their own, then help them brush their teeth, at least twice a day. “Use a circular movement, and be sure the bristles touch the gum,” Dr. Pang advises.

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