“Apps to help maintain my dental hygiene? You can’t be serious! Everyone knows how to brush their teeth.” It sounds a bit silly at first, I admit, but recently I learned that my dental hygiene habits weren’t as proper as I thought they were. And even if you know how to be hygienic, are you actually being hygienic?
There are a lot of benefits to proper dental hygiene and a lot of drawbacks when you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums, yet even though we know this, we tend to slack on our duties. We skip brushing. We forego flossing. Trips to the dentist come few and far between. Unfortunately, your teeth won’t be thanking you later for that.
If you have good dental habits already, then great! But if you’re like me and still have room for improvement, these apps will help you.
Common advice says that you ought to be brushing your teeth for a full 2 minutes at least twice a day. Unfortunately, I know a few friends who zip in and out of the bathroom in less than half that time, and I’m sure you know a few friends like that – perhaps you do it, too. The 2 minute count is more to make sure that you’re sufficiently cleaning all the surface area of your teeth.
But brushing can be boring, which is why Brush DJ exists. It will take a random song from your phone’s music library and play 2 minutes of it while you brush. As long as the song is playing, you know that you still have some more brushing to do. Plus, the random music selection makes each session a little more exciting – at least more exciting than a regular alarm.
A few more goodies in Brush DJ: set reminders for changing toothbrushes, brushing and flossing, and even visiting the dentist. Very nice, especially for an app that costs absolutely nothing.
For those of you who think you know how to brush your teeth, I challenge you to check out this app. It’s technically a game, but it’s an educational one and I’ve learned a lot from it. I always thought teeth were to be brushed side-to-side or in a circular motion, but apparently both are wrong. What’s the right way? This app will show you!
Cleaning Your Teeth will show you 3D animations on how to properly brush and floss your teeth depending on which tooth you’re working on. You can also toggle between under-18 and over-18 mouths since the proper procedure differs slightly between children and adults. Don’t worry about the game portion of this app since it’s neither fun nor informative.
Do you love to self-diagnose through WebMD? Who doesn’t! The Dental Symptom Checker app by the American Dental Association will let you do that for all your dental problems straight from your phone. Now you can get a head start on your tooth problems and plan for potential issues no matter where you are.
The self-diagnosis quiz is pretty cool. It asks a bunch of easy-to-answer questions and offers a number of potential diagnoses depending on your description of the issue. Of course, Dental Symptom Checker is NOT meant to be a replacement for a true dental checkup. If you suspect a problem, always consult a dental professional.
The other cool feature of this app is that it can help you find dentists around you. All you have to do is plug in your address and the app will scan its database for dentists within your radius.
Dental Expert is an informative app that compiles top dental questions and answers given by various experts in the field. There’s so much information in here that it would take hours to go through it all. That’s not to say that you should sit down and read it end to end, but it’s a nice app to keep installed in case you have questions later.
The best part of this app is that it tackles topics that are related to dentistry but not exactly part of the field. For example, there are tips on how to improve your smile and how to prevent bad breath. However, more pertinent topics exist too, such as explanations of various dental procedures, how to minimize costs and anxiety, and how to find the right dentist for you.
The app is free, which is great, but supported by ads that sometimes get in the way. The app is also a bit glitchy at times and it will think I tapped on a selection when I didn’t. However, despite the shortcomings, the content is great and worth a look.
I was originally going to include an app called Floss: Your Habit Coach as the fifth app on this list, but it cost $1.99 USD and I realized that there were better apps out there for free – like Habit Streak. How does it relate to dental health? Because dental hygiene is all about routine, and routine is built through good habits.
Growing up, it was ingrained into my mind that I needed to brush-brush-brush twice a day: once in the morning, once before bed. Flossing was rarely ever mentioned, so I developed a strong routine for brushing but nothing for flossing. Is your story similar? Thankfully, studies have shown that it only takes 21 days to start (or break) a habit.
That’s where Habit Streak comes in. You can use it to help track your flossing habit to make sure you make it part of your daily hygiene. It’s completely free and so useful. The Pro version of Habit Streak is available for $2.99 USD, which comes with improved interface, data graphs, and widgets.
Dental hygiene is one area where a lot of us might think we’re doing it right, but it never hurts to be sure. Not only is it important to brush and floss every day, but you ought to be doing it correctly to maximize your defense against dental problems. Hopefully these apps help you to do that.
Will you be using any of these apps? Do you know of other dental apps that might help ward against cavities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image Credits: Dental health Via Shutterstock