Along with bathing and eating broccoli, getting kids to brush their teeth is one of the most difficult acts to get them to perform. No matter how you dress it up or explain it, the act is boring and repetitive, and sometimes it hurts. A mother at FUNGAMENTAL Labs going through the same struggles came up with the StarTeeth app to help all frustrated caregivers with this nighttime ritual.
Those who are still unsure of the correct teeth brushing technique can read up on it in the illustrated manual included in the app. Kids can choose brushing Mate to help them brush by tapping on the image; there are even seasonal mates, of which you can vote on to increase your favorite’s chances of being added in the next update. Once selected, the Mate will give you a chance to load up on toothpaste, and then it’s off to two minutes of entertaining brushing! The Mate brushes the entire two minutes with you, and even shows you when to change sides. Once the timer counts down, your teeth are set for the next few hours.
I wish I had this app when I was a kid. There isn’t a whole lot to hate about StarTeeth. The graphics and colors are amazingly engaging (and funny, sometimes–a gingerbread man brushing raises some eyebrows); whoever decided that looking at the Mates brushing was to be through a mirror was genius. Even the the music is fun to bop along to, and developers are saying that future updates will include an option to listen to your own music while brushing (although not many songs are under the two-minute mark). Changing Mates from time to time will keep the activity fresh, so there’s another point to development. The only thing I would add are short directions to indicate the changing of sides and such; as exaggerated as the Mates’ movements are, I’d still like to know exactly where I should be brushing in my 3D mouth. All in all, this free app is a must, especially if you have children recalcitrant towards tooth health.
Here is a video demo of the StarTeeth app on the iPhone
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