Story last updated at 2/12/2014 - 4:56 pm
PRINCE OF WALES - Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium dentists are recommending a new, free app developed by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives -"Toothsavers." It is available online as well as for Android and iOS devices.
Created on behalf of the Kids' Healthy Mouths campaign, the app inspires kids to brush their teeth for the dentist-recommended two minutes, twice a day by making it fun. The app enlists them in rescuing friendly fairy tale characters from an evil, cavity-creating sorceress who cast a wicked teeth-rotting spell on the kingdom.
Featuring a fun and colorful design, Toothsavers includes three key features to help parents and their kids learn about the importance of oral health. The game calls on kids to be heroes. In a timed, finger-swipe brushing game, they can save 10 characters in a fairy tale kingdom from an evil, cavity-creating sorceress. The two-player version of the game allows for kids to "brush" the teeth of their friends and parents when the mobile device is held up to their mouths. The app also offers a real-life toothbrushing companion for kids and parents to keep track of their brushing progress, as well as morning and nighttime reminders.
"Toothsavers is a terrific way to get kids thinking about their teeth from an early age," said Gary Price, Secretary and CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. "I look forward to seeing families embrace the app as both a teaching tool and a way to monitor their daily toothbrushing routines."
Dental decay is the nation's most common chronic childhood disease, affecting 16.5 million children.
In the U.S., oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually.
Dr. Kim Hort, a Pediatric Dentist at SEARHC, said, "Helping your child brush with fluoridated (anti-cavity) toothpaste for 2 minutes, twice each day is the very best thing you can do for your child's teeth. Keeping brushing time fun is key to making it an enjoyable time for you both. Taking turns, singing songs, or playing on the free Toothsavers app can help make this a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime!"
While the developer of the game says it is geared for children ages 3-6, Dr. Hort believes it can be helpful for some children as young as 2 all the way through age 8-10, depending on the child.
Toothsavers is now available for free in the App Store and Google Play (both smartphones and tablet version). It is also on the web at 2min2x.org/PlayToothsavers