Yes, it’s a little bit crazy how reliant we are on electronics. But to complain about it would be as futile as our great grandparents complaining about how reliant some people were on cars when a perfectly good horse or a pair of legs would do for getting around.
The truth is we rely on our electronics because they’re helpful. Whether you’re in need of a quick recipe, a currency conversion, language translation, directions, or the lyrics to an old favorite song, it’s all at your fingertips. As much as your great grandpa may have fought change, cars indeed became the norm and now, you can find a great app for just about anything.
As dentists, we’re partial to the apps that help our patients maintain proper oral hygiene and keep stay in good oral health. Take a look below at a few of our favorite dental and oral health apps.
Last month, we mentioned this app in passing as a potential tool to get you in the habit of flossing. It allows you to set daily alerts for brushing and flossing as well as set long-term reminders for changing your toothbrush and visiting the dentist. The key feature, however, is the timer that plays music while you brush so you don’t have to guess about whether the dentist-recommended two minutes have passed.
You’re the dentist. Your patients are celebrities. They have various oral issues need of your attention. This app is a fun, humorous game that helps children learn to take their oral health seriously. They won’t know it, but you will. All you need to say when it’s time to brush and floss is, “Remember those gray teeth we had to pull out of Lady Gaga’s mouth? We don’t want teeth like that, do we?”
For those kids who would rather play hero than dentist to the stars, this game is a fun alternative – and more educational as well. Players can save the characters in a fairytale from the evil cavity-creating sorceress by brushing “the grub” from their teeth and tapping away the bacteria. Or they can choose to brush with the characters, tapping the screen to start a two-minute timer.
Not all apps are gaming apps or for children. This one is quite helpful for adults with a fear of going to the dentist. It provides information the nature of dental phobia and strategies for coping with visits to the dentist, and also explains various treatment options available (such as inhalation, oral, IV sedation, and more). Even if it doesn’t make the fear go away (which it’s not intended to do), some may find it helpful just to have their fears acknowledged and to realize how common dental phobia is.
We do our best to speak to our patients in plain speak, and most people prefer that, but we have some patients that want the kind of detail that requires the use of some very specific dental terminology. And then when we give it to them, they look at us, and say, “Um, what?” Not only does this app use informative images and video to explain dental terms, but it also includes flashcards and vocabulary quizzes for those who want to be able to repeat the information later. This is a great tool for anyone who wants to impress their friends with awesome dental knowledge at their next dinner party.
But you still need to visit the dentist!
As important as it was to your great grandpa that cars did not become a replacement for our legs, it’s just as important for your oral health that your apps don’t become a replacement for visits to the dentist. No matter how many dental terms you learn or how familiar you become with a two-minute timer, you still need a dentist to help keep your mouth in tip-top shape.
Come see us at Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo. Your great grandpa would be proud.