Hello, today i'm talking about teeth. About my toddler hating to have his teeth brushed and a gadget that seems like it actually might just help. Once my little boy has eaten the toothpaste, in his mind he is done, as much as I try and coax him he isn't up for brushing any more thoroughly. I take the brush from him, and force him to do it, but it is a big fear of mine that he is going to end up with discoloured and decayed teeth and every time he flashes his knashers it's going to be like a big neon sign showing what a rubbish mother I am. I say a big fear, I guess global warming, raising a juvenile delinquent and Trump getting into power are probably up there too. But I don't think that there is an app out there that can help with those so let's leave them for another post eh?
When the company behind Playbrush got in touch to ask if I'd like to try a new product to encourage kids to brush their teeth, I was all over it. As I read their email I was having flashbacks to when Mr Sprog and I tag teamed the toddler, one of us pinning him down whilst the other one brushed his teeth. It's one of those times when you wonder what on earth being a parent has turned you into, but it's difficult to weigh up whether it's worse to manhandle him into cleaning them or have him stinking out the sandpit with the previous night's chilli breath. We've had some success with a kids electric toothbrush, but parenting guilt is never far away as I think officially they are meant to be much older before they use one and it's also difficult to see how well a job he is doing himself. I LOVE a gadget and will download an app for anything so I was excited to try the Playbrush, and even more excited that I was given an extra one to giveaway to one of you lovely readers.
What is a Playbrush? Well now I've got that virtual therapy session over (wow talking about a toothbrush went deeper than I thought it would) I can actually move on to describing it. Simply put its a device which attaches to a manual toothbrush that turns it into a controller for a game. The game is played via an app for an iPhone, iPad or Android phones.
When it came to doing the testing I was all prepared to take photos of us opening the box. I was even considering doing an unboxing video, and was deciding on whether or not I'd put on a sickly sweet American accent like the ones I've heard in the weird YouTube videos that my niece loves. But alas, it's was not to be, YouTube fame and fortune is not heading my way anytime soon, because whilst my back was turned the Toddler got a hold of the box, and possessed by the spirit of a dalmatian puppy, tore the it completely up! (Such a professional blogger - I'm sure I'll be swamped in PR requests after this post goes live.) Anyway, assisted by my two year old helper we looked at the contents of the torn up box. You get the playbrush, a charger, instructions and a little story pamphlet which sets the backstory for the game the kids play, which I thought was a nice touch.
Firstly we charged the Playbrush. Underneath the rubber casing is a small white plastic cylinder with a charge point. We used our portable charger to do it, as we were taking photos in the garden (The lighting in my bathroom is terrible, when I say terrible I mean it shows up the fact it hadn't been cleaned for well over a week, so I was too ashamed to show it off in these pics) but it comes with it's own charger. It takes minutes to charge, and according to the booklet should last a few weeks. Whilst waiting for it to charge I downloaded the app. There are a choice of three apps, and I went for a flying one called Utoothia Sky. All of the apps are free, and don't have any of those sneaky in game purchase options which leave you with a bill. The next step is to pair the Playbrush to your mobile. This was surprisingly easy, much easier than when I've paired my phone up to the car or any other devices. There was no need for passwords or anything, I just loaded up the app, shook the Playbrush to activate the bluetooth and it was connected.
Now it was time to actually play the game. I managed to let my toddler take the first go. Obviously I wanted to drag it out of his hand, and show him how it was done, but I managed to remember I'm a parent now, and I'm meant to be selfless, or something like that. In the game we were playing, when you move the brush to clean your teeth, it powered the little airplane in the game. When you stopped brushing the airplane came down to the ground, and you stopped moving. The goal of the game was to fly as far as you could. It was really good fun, and really responsive to when the Playbrush was moving. The timer was set to two minutes, and little arrows indicated which areas of your teeth you'd covered, and which areas you should brush more. When the two minute timer was up it told you the distance you'd travelled, and which areas of your teeth you'd brushed best/needed to work on. I absolutely loved it. I think that as it's a game kids will be far more likely to brush for the recommended time, and as a parent it gives you a bit of oversight about how well they are doing without needing to be on top of them with your face in their mouth.
My toddler was really a bit too young for this game. The box states it's suitable for ages 3 and up. He liked looking at the phone, but didn't really understand that it was him controlling the airplane. I think he wouldn't be far off though, and I'm definitely going to bring this out in the next few months to see if he'll get it a bit more then. I completely recommend the Playbrush. It's such good fun, and I think once kids are old enough to understand the concept it will definitely help improve how thorough they are and how long they actually brush for. I wasn't sure if it might be a big gimmicky, but I actually think that the scoring system - of seeing how far your plane can fly - will encourage kids to want to play it day after day to improve on how far they get. At the moment the Playbrush is half price (and as far as I can tell a genuine half price, because when I checked a week ago it was £39) at £19 which I think is reasonable, and would make a great stocking filler if you wanted to be mega organised and start shopping for ...sorry I'm about to say the C word, and not the CBeebies one that they tried to convince us was kite...Christmas of course. I love how I give advice like that, whereas in my own life have never bought a present before 20th December every year. Because of the rubber casing it's easy to move the Playbrush from one toothbrush to another. The app also allows you to set up multiple players on the one Playbrush, so if you had more than one kid you could just buy one Playbrush to share. You can read all about Playbrush and buy one from the Playbrush Shop.
Now on to the really exciting bit. The generous Playbrush team have supplied a blue Playbrush for a giveaway competition. One lucky reader gets one entirely for free. All you need to do to enter is go to my Facebook page - Sprog on The Tyne - like the competition post, and leave a comment on it. The competition will close at midnight on 25th September, and the lucky winner will be notified via Facebook. Full terms and conditions are at the bottom of this post. Good Luck.
Disclosure Policy - We received the Playbrush in return for an honest review. Unsurprising all of the random blabber and chuntering on in this post is my own. See the about us section of this website for the full corporate speak disclosure policy.
Playbrush Giveaway Competition Terms and Conditions -
The competition is open to UK residents aged 16 and over, excluding employees and relatives of the promoter (Playbrush) or me (Sprog on the Tyne)
Closing date for entries is Sunday 25th September at midnight
Only one entry per person.
Entrants must like and comment on the Facebook competition post at: https://www.facebook.com/sprogonthetyne
The winner will be chosen at random.
The winner will be informed by a reply to their Facebook comment within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 7 days or a new winner will be chosen.
The winner’s name will be available on request and published on the Sprog on the Tyne Facebook and Twitter account.
By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.