Let’s be honest — there are times when we find brushing our teeth a chore and we often don’t spend the required amount of time to care for our teeth as our dentists would like. Luckily for us, there might be a solution that might get us to brush more diligently and willingly than before.
Following the announcement of their sleep-tracking game Pokémon Sleep last year, The Pokémon Company is back with another healthy living app that aims to encourage both children and adults to brush their teeth better. Aptly named Pokémon Smile, the recently released augmented reality (AR) toothbrushing game features adorably drawn Pokémon characters alongside AR effects that enhance your gameplay experience.
The idea of the game is for you to brush your teeth alongside the game, getting rid of cavity-causing bacteria within a specified time limit and getting rewarded at the end with an opportunity to catch a Pokémon.
The game starts with you selecting your desired Pokémon to join your brushing journey. Being a Bulbasaur fan, he was my natural choice companion on this slightly odd but exciting gaming adventure. Selecting Bulbasaur also meant that I was able to have him sit on my head while I brush, like a Pokémon hat!
Since it was originally designed for kids, the game included a brushing guide in the lower right corner of the phone to prompt little ones on where to brush next. You can, of course, follow the guide as well though I did find it quite distracting (during the practice round) when I was trying to figure out if I had successfully defeated the cavity-causing bacteria.
The default timing of the game is two minutes, which is the recommended brushing duration set by dentists but you won’t even notice the time when the game starts. This is because instead of watching the time counter, you’ll be focused on other things like the different prompts that come up to tell you to “brush faster” or adjust your angle because they “can’t see your toothbrush”.
In addition to the prompts, I found myself more distracted by the fact that my Bulbasaur hat kept looking as if it was either floating above my head, or it has fallen over my eyes.
Nonetheless, I made it through the two minutes and was rewarded with a chance to catch Rattata. Although the catching process is similar to that of Pokémon Go, where you flick the ball towards your target, you will only get one chance to catch it. So, if your Pokémon escapes your PokéBall, you will only be able to try and catch it the next time you brush your teeth.
There are over 100 Pokémon available for you to catch in the game which will be added to your Pokédex when you successfully catch one. Unfortunately for me, my Rattata escaped so I was rewarded with a consolation prize instead, in the form of a sticker.
While it was a little frustrating to not capture a Pokémon at the end of the brushing routine, I was pleased to have at least given my teeth a proper brushing. I do foresee myself utilising this app frequently since it does have real-life benefits on top of a virtual one, and the next time I see my dentist, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting called out for sloppy brushing!
Banner image courtesy of The Pokémon Company.