Interview with Dr Milad Shadrooh “The Singing Dentist” featured on the TV show Good Morning Britain after developing methods to encourage children to brush their teeth more effectively. Dr Shadrooh has his own YouTube channel where he posts new songs aimed at young children but which parody contemporay hits with which the kids and their parents are familiar. We asked his opinion of the new Sonicare for Kids Connected – a new sonictoothbrush with features Bluetooth® wireless technology and an interactive app* which are designed to help motivate children to brush more effectively and independently.
- What are the current issues surrounding children’s dental health which need addressing?
The current issues include a lack of awareness of correct brushing habits and lack of awareness of dietary aspects which both lead to tooth decay
- What do parents tell you are their greatest struggles getting their children to brush their teeth?
Actually getting the kids in to the bathroom to do their teeth, and if they do, getting them to clean for long enough and brushing properly.
- How can we encourage kids to brush effectively and for long enough?
We have to try to make brushing fun… as much as it can be! Rewarding kids can be a good way, having a cool toothbrush would help and to ensure they clean for the right amount of time, you could use timers, sing songs, play tunes or use a visual aid which is entertaining for them to watch, whilst helping them adopt the correct brushing techniques.
- What do you think of Sonicare for Kids Connected?
I like the concept, it ticks a lot of the boxes... it’s a nice and cool sonic brush so I'm sure kids would like it, having an associated app is great as most kids have access to smart phones or tablets and the videos make the brushing experience more fun for them.
- How do you think kids will react to Sparkly the app character?
I think it will be nice for the younger kids, having a catchy name like ‘Sparkly’ helps, as parents can use that to encourage the kids to brush so they "help Sparkly". This turns the experience of brushing into more of a game or fun-time process as opposed to a chore. If that can help establish the brushing habit early on, then hopefully that habit will stay with them for their adult life.
- Do you think kids will be excited and motivated by the connectivity and gamification aspects of the new product?
Kids love games and visuals, especially tablets and phones so I think the connectivity is a great idea, anything to get them excited about brushing is a good thing and it's all about getting that habit instilled into them from an early age.
- What do you think parents’ reactions will be to the new brush?
I think parents will like the brush, it looks nice and is bright and is something for the kids to get excited about. Add to that the app side and the connectivity of it and I think parents will see the advantages and the potential for it to excite their kids so that they brush better. Also, most adults have electric brushes nowadays and our children always want to copy us so having their own special sonic brush has got to improve kids with their brushing compliance.
- As a dentist why do you think using a sonic toothbrush will be more effective than a manual brush?
I recommend electric brushes because of their ease of use and improved plaque removal when used correctly. I prefer the sonic technology because of the feeling of the brush and the way it leaves the teeth feeling clean and polished. Also, it is much quieter and sleeker to use. Using a manual brush correctly is difficult for those with dexterity issues, whether it is due to age or other factors, so anything that makes that process easier and more effective has to be recommended.
- Would you like your children to use Sonicare for Kids? What does your daughter think of the product?
My daughter likes the app as she is crazy about anything bubbly and colourful on the smart phone. The app has the feel of the other apps aimed at children's learning so it fits in well. My wife and I both use the Sonicare and my daughter likes to copy us with hers but being only 2 years old, she finds the sonic vibrations a little tickly and she giggles all the way through brushing at the moment, but it has made brushing fun and she sometimes reminds me it’s time to "brush teethies"... Sonicare for Kids is something I will definitely continue to use and recommend to patients.
Dr Milad Shadrooh makes his next appearance on This Morning on Friday 6th May 2016. His YouTube channel can be found here.