The ProblemKids sure can whine and moan about brushing their teeth. Tiger Electronics, a division of Hasbro, offers a novel solution: Tooth Tunes, a battery-operated toothbrush that plays pop music as you brush. It just might get kids into the bathroom without the kicking and screaming -- if you're willing to pay.
The GimmickRetailing for a pricey $9.99 with a non-replaceable head, the toothbrush plays kiddie tunes, such as the latest Disney sensations, as well as pop for older ears, including Queen and the Beach Boys.
To activate the two minutes of music, you press the rubber switch above the handle. You'll hear just a whisper of the song until you apply pressure to the toothbrush's head or -- better! -- place the toothbrush on your teeth; Tiger advertises that when you press the brush to your teeth, sound waves travel from the bristles to the jawbone and then to the inner ear.
The TestFive-year-old Arrie Woodard of Fairfax reported that he had a little trouble hearing the music at first, but once he firmly pressed the bristles to his teeth, he recognized the Smash Mouth song playing on his brush. "This is cool!" he said.
Mary Hayes, an American Dental Association spokeswoman who specializes in pediatric dentistry, said the gimmick may have merit. "Parents always complain that kids are not brushing long enough, so the timer is good," she said. "The parent doesn't have to nag, and the kids know when to stop brushing."
-- Kathleen Hom