Pokemon Smile is a hygiene app designed to teach your child good tooth brushing habits. The app uses your phone’s selfie camera mode to place the user in an AR environment where they can see a mouth with brushing directions while they are looking at themselves mimicking the movements.
When opening the app for the first time, the user will be asked to select a Pokemon who will work with them to keep their teeth clean. Multiple family members can have accounts on the same app so if there are multiple children in the house or parents want to get in on the fun, they can add their names and Pokemon preferences as well.
When the Teeth Brushing portion of the app is opened, the user “battles” bacteria on the screen by brushing their teeth in the highlighted section of the mouth. Correctly brushing eliminates the bacteria as the Pokemon you chose “attacks” them on your behalf. If you are not brushing fast enough, a message on the screen will pop up to let you know. A timer at the top of the screen lets the user know how much more time they will need to brush.
Once the brushing is complete, the user received a Pokeball which can then be used to catch a new Pokemon. They will also receive stickers and virtual hats which can be worn while brushing their teeth. The app saves a few screenshots of brushing that can be selected and decorated.
Pokemon Smile is now available on Android and iOS.
Good tooth brushing habits are an important skill that requires focus to ensure that it is being done properly. For young children who might not have their focus skills built up, Pokemon Smile is a great way for them to practice. Because the app directs them exactly where and how vigorously to brush, it holds their attention and allows them to pay attention to “battling” the bacteria rather than simply brushing their teeth. Turning this process into a game is a good way for focus skills to be built up within children of all ages.
Planning: Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
Good dental hygiene means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and Pokemon Smile makes it easy for children to plan for this in their schedule. If set up, the app will send reminders via push notifications so that the user is brushing their teeth at the same time and gets into a healthy routine. For children who struggle with planning or are young and do not have much experience with this skill, set the reminder and make a point of following up with them after they are done brushing. The game element of Pokemon Smile makes it easier to set up the plan because the user is looking forward to catching additional Pokemon in the app or earning extra hats and stickers to decorate their pictures with.
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