■Description: With more than 27,000 downloads, this oral hygiene app was created by a practicing dentist who wanted to help his high school-age daughter get through life without cavities and periodontal disease. Tooth-brushing time can be set to as little as 2+ minutes. But to avoid missed spots, it is recommended that the user start out by brushing their teeth along with the app and stick with the initial setting of 8 minutes.
■What this app can do: 1. Anyone (children, family members, or even yourself) who saw tooth-brushing as something of a hassle before will have a more proactive attitude toward oral hygiene. 2. As users continue brushing toward their savings goal, they will pick up good brushing habits naturally. 3. The once-monotonous act of daily brushing will feel like a game, helping the user keep brushing without losing interest. 4. For adults, too, the app helps users avoid missed spots, and helps prevent hypersensitivity that can be caused with typical side-to-side brushing. 5. By keeping the mouth clean, the user is more protected from cold and influenza viruses, which often enter through the mouth.
■Features that set this app apart: In this app, the brushing technique is based on up-and-down strokes. This is what many dentists recommend, because with up-and-down strokes, the user is less likely to miss spots or have hypersensitivity issues than with typical side-to-side brushing. With realistic 3D images and spoken instructions, the app guides the user through the brushing process to help ensure that all areas of the teeth get good and clean. The app also offers instruction on the use of dental floss and mouthwash, helping the user keep their mouth nice and clean.
■A new concept! Building savings by tooth-brushing: Many people are too busy or just can't be bothered to practice good brushing habits. The "savings" part of "Tooth-brushing savings" is like a virtual bank that lets users grow their accounts by brushing every day. The idea is to encourage people to take a more proactive attitude toward oral hygiene. Adults can reward children for continuing to brush with the app for a certain period without skipping. The reward can be set at the beginning, and can be in the form of actual money or other item. (The app can also be used as just a tooth-brushing tool, without the savings function.) The app is also designed to encourage users to use it every day. By reaching a certain number of days without skipping, the user can unlock special Gold and Silver tooth-brushing items. These items can also be used on the actual tooth-brushing screens. This can help make tooth-brushing more fun over the long term. With this latest version of the app, the user can compare their "days without skipping" score with family members or virtual friends, and get new designs for their virtual toothbrush each season by keeping up with their brushing for 60 days without skipping. These new features are designed to give users a greater sense of accomplishment, make tooth-brushing more like a game, and make users feel even more motivated to keep their teeth clean.
■Creator comments: Our "Tooth-brushing savings" app was released two years ago. The app has been well-received, and downloaded by more than 27,000 users. Many dental clinics now recommend the app not only to their child patients but adults as well, as a way to encourage proper brushing every day. A great many users have let us know what they think of the app since its initial launch. We've used their feedback to make the app even better for its latest release. We've added features designed to make the practice of tooth-brushing more fun, and an English version is now available. The app has undergone a major revamp aimed at giving users—not only in Japan, but around the world—greater motivation to develop good brushing habits.