If I had to choose something I like the least about being a parent, it’s the morning routine. I’ve never been a morning person, even before I had the children, and I struggle to just get myself up and dressed, let alone four children – none of whom are morning people either!
Every morning we go through the same ritual that usually starts with me slapping at my snooze button for a good fifteen minutes before leaping out of bed screeching, “We’re going to be late!” until I wake the children who, typically, can’t get out of bed before 8am Monday to Friday. There begins the manic routine that is breakfast, with one wanting toast, one wanting cereal, one wanting pancakes and one, always Eva, asking for, “Something cheeky” by which she means something completely in-appropriate, usually involving chocolate.
By the time that I’ve mopped up the inevitable spillages, wiped peanut butter handprints from the walls, washed Weetabix from someone’s hair, packed three school bags and made two packed lunches, all whilst mumbling under my breath that this should have been done the night before, we usually have ten minutes to get everybody dressed, hair styled, and teeth brushed before we make the mad dash to school.
And I’ve actually got the getting dressed part down to a fine art, if by art you mean wrestling the children into submission while yanking jumpers over their head and squeezing their feet into the wrong sized shoes, which gives us just enough time to do our teeth…..or so you’d think. Because the truth is, my children HATE me brushing their teeth, almost as much as I hate brushing them.
The girls, fiercely stubborn, refuse to brush their teeth unless they have squeezed out the toothpaste themselves, which never goes to plan, soaked the brush with water, washing off most of the toothpaste in the process, then merely hold the toothbrush in their mouths for all of thirty seconds before spitting it out, wiping their mouths on the sleeves of their nice clean jumpers. Harry is a
little more hell of a lot more difficult and you can guarantee there will be tears. Either I’ve chosen the wrong colour brush, there’s not enough toothpaste, too much toothpaste, too little water, too much water, he wants to hold it, he wants me to hold it……..you get the idea, and most days it’s a two man job to just get the brush in his mouth.
So when Playbrush approached me to try their new toothbrush, I figured it was worth a try. Afterall, anything was worth a shot to try and combat the drama that ensued every single morning. And although I was sceptical about what could possbibly make a toothbrush any more appealing to the children, it turns out that this revolutionary new way to brush your teeth may well be the answer that us parents have been searching for.
So what is Playbrush?
Playbrush attaches onto any manual toothbrush and connects via Bluetooth to a Smartphone or Tablet, allowing kids to control mobile games with their own brushing movements. Interactive brushing challenges and rewards coupled with detailed brushing feedback, means brushing is now not just entertaining, but effective.
There are are many benefits to using Playbrush and yet the three that appealed to me most are these,
- Longer brushing – each game lasts for 2 minutes to get children brushing for the recommended time.
- Better brushing – a specific game algorithm ensures that kids brush all around their mouths.
- Regular brushing – feedback and rewards motivate kids to brush twice a day.
I love the fact that Playbrush was developed alongside actual dentists, meaning that not only is it a fun way for children to clean their teeth, but it encourages good dental hygiene in children from a young age. I especially like that Playbrush works with 95% of manual toothbrushes, so that for larger families like ourselves, we only need to buy one Playbrush and use our individual toothbrushes with the base.
Playbrush uses innovative technology to measure speed, duration and position to be able to get good brushing feedback. The brush is designed in a way that makes children brush all around their mouth, not just left to right, using an unique reward scheme which encourages children to come back time and time again.
When we received the brush the children literally could not wait to try it and, after charging it up with the USB adaptor, we were good to go. And never have I seen my children so excited over the prospect of brushing their teeth!!
We downloaded three different games to my iphone, all available for free on the App store, and Eva demanded that she had the first go, “I am the eldest!” she told Harry and Megan, in a very serious voice. After shaking the brush twice to activate it, the base flashed yellow and we were able to choose one of the games from my phone. Each game has individual profiles for the children so they can choose their own character to keep track of their progress each day.
Each game runs for two minutes, the optimum time for brushing teeth, which actually passed really quickly given that usually it feels like an age when they are flailing around as though I am trying to poison them! The game tells you when each side is done, whether you need to brush a little faster, or simply congratulates you for brushing well.
Eva enjoyed it so much that she asked to clean them again, “I think my teeth might still be a little bit dirty?!” she told us as she clicked onto a colouring game.
After four minutes of brushing, by which time I’m amazed she hadn’t made her gums bleed, I realised that for the first time in years we hadn’t had any drama over getting them to brush their teeth. Although the fact that Harry and Megan were throttling it out over who got the next turn more than made up for that.
The children, ever competitive, couldn’t wait to beat each others high scores, something which only encourages them to try harder! My only negative was that they enjoyed it so much, they really didn’t want it to end!
We would definitely recommend the Playbrush to any parents of young children, although Gaz, Lewis and I all had a turn and it’s actually fun for all ages! It is such a relief to finally have something to make our mornings a little less stressful, now if someone can invent a cloning device so that I can snooze for that little bit longer, it would be much appreciated!!
Playbrush is currently on sale at £19.99. For more information visit www.playbrush.com/en