Forget about spitting in the general direction of the sink. Most
parents of young kids would be happy if they’d just brush and floss
twice a day.
Some products might help the process. There were dozens of items on
display at the California Dental Association’s spring expo in Anaheim,
Calif., in early April, and here are three that might help your children
get through the daily grind with a smile:
— GumChucks ( http://www.gumchucks.com/
): This new product, by OralWise, resembles nunchucks, except these
martial-arts weapons are designed to stealthily take down food bits that
kids find hard to reach with the regular “stick” flossers. The
disposable flossing ends are inserted into the reusable handles, forming
a C-shaped flossing end that gets under the gumline. The flossing ends
are ejected with a push of buttons at the bottoms of the handles, a cool
reward in itself. The company figures it costs about $90 a year in
resupplies to use the product. Each “starter kit” comes with a trading
card featuring a different ninja, like Ninja Vitis. There’s also an
iPhone app called Weapons of Plaque Destruction.
— BrushBuddies ( http://www.brushbuddies.com/
): This company has hitched its wagon to the stars of sugary teen pop
music. There are six models of Justin Bieber singing toothbrushes,
including one that plays both “Baby” and “U Smile,” which is appropriate
($6.25 on Amazon). There’s also an adult version. The company makes
versions featuring One Direction, Lady Gaga and Psy, just in case you
haven’t heard the song “Gangnam Style” enough by now.
— Firefly ( http://www.fireflytoothbrush.com/
): It’s made by Dr. Fresh and is a toothbrush that lights up for a
minute, which is a good amount of time for a kid (or an adult) to be
brushing. The expo booth touted the new Angry Birds line, but your kid
might pass on that flavor-of-the-month game in favor of the classics:
Barbie, Spider-Man, Batman. Another cool product is the Firefly foaming
toothpaste ($14.55 for a pack of six on Amazon). The best thing about
this is that it doesn’t dry into a plaster-like crust in the sink.