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Keep Forgetting to Brush?

 We get it- life gets busy. No matter how old you are or what you do for a living, it can be easy to forget to do simple everyday things like brushing your teeth if you’ve already got a lot of plates in the air. Unfortunately, forgetting to brush your teeth just once a day can increase your risk for cavities, gum disease, and even periodontitis, which can lead to a lot of other dangerous problems, including tooth and gum loss, and even jaw loss. So, when we say brushing twice a day is important, we mean it!  So, what can you do if you find yourself struggling to remember that all-too-important second brushing each day? Here are some cool new ways to remind yourself to take care of your teeth!

The "Tooth" App. The tooth app is a pretty simple, free app, but brilliant in its simplicity. It has three major functions, all designed to help adults remember to brush their teeth better

  • Timer mode sets an alarm twice a day, at the time you choose – and reminds you to brush your teeth. This is helpful for people who get up at the same time each day and generally go to bed at the same time each night. However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to change the time on weekends if you tend to sleep later on those days or go to bed later. So, while if your routine is pretty standard the Tooth app should work well, for those with unpredictable schedules- or those who tend to hit snooze on their alarm a few times before waking, it may not be very helpful.
  • Instruction mode has a few gif’s that show how to brush properly, which are very helpful. Hopefully, in the future, they will add more of these, or cover new topics such as flossing.
  • Toothbrush mode is a calendar reminder that notifies you when it’s time to replace your toothbrush. The rule of thumb on this is once every three months, or when your brush bristles start getting frayed- but this is a cool feature to have built into the app, and you can adjust it to longer or shorter if you prefer.

Another app, called "Kids4Teeth" costs $0.99 and is a bit more detailed than the "Tooth" app.  Though it’s meant for adults to track their children, it can easily be used for adults who need the extra reminder. The fun, colorful interface is great for kids, but not so crazy that adults would be put off by it. For parents looking to track the brushing of several kids, the app allows you to track four individuals at a time.

You can customize the colors, icons, and reward titles for each child- and even add a timer for use during brushing to make sure your child (or yourself) brush for two minutes. There’s also a floss notifier that pops up to remind you to floss, and two customizable alarms a day to remind you to brush. When you complete each brushing session, you get a star for the day. After a week, you get a customizable reward message from the app, which is a great encouragement for kids, but would be pretty nice for adults, too! After all, who doesn’t want a little praise for ‘adulting’ at the end of a long week?

Finally, for the adult who just needs a mom reminding them over and over to brush their teeth, comes a new service from Goby, called "Texts from a Mom," which has actual moms remind subscribers via text message to brush their teeth. Supposedly, the Goby moms -who are actual moms and not robots-  will text you twice a day to remind you to care for your teeth, along with some other message, like "gum disease is gross!"  The service goes hand in hand with Goby’s brush and brush head subscription service, but the "Texts from a Mom" service is open to anyone who needs a reminder- even if they aren’t a Goby brush user. What makes the "Texts from a Mom" service that much better is that it’s interactive. You can easily ignore an alarm on your phone, but it’s a lot harder to ignore a text from mom- even if it’s not your mom.

For more brushing encouragement, or to set up your next cleaning, give Dr. Simpson's office a call at (910) 550-3959.

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