Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Healthy Smile App for Children with Autism or Developmental Disabilities-- Review

What is the My Healthy Smile app?

Fraser, a Minnesota nonprofit serving children and adults with special needs, and Delta Dental of Minnesota recently made available the My Healthy Smile app for iPhones and iPods.  My Healthy Smile was developed to teach children about good oral health and to ease anxieties around dental visits. Eleven audio and visual social scripts help teach children what to expect at the dentist and how to have good oral care at home. Topics include: having your teeth cleaned, taking X-rays, getting fillings, losing a tooth, brushing, and healthy eating.  “The use of social scripts works especially well for children who have autism or developmental disabilities,” said Pat Pulice, Director of Autism Services at Fraser. The My Healthy Smile app is designed for children between the developmental ages of 3 and 10. The app was created in partnership with dentists, oral health professionals and families.

“It is vital that children and adults with special needs connect with their oral health in positive ways,” said Ann Johnson, Director of Community Affairs at Delta Dental of Minnesota. “When anyone - children or adults - experience dental anxiety, the consequences can be profound. The result is often avoidance of establishing basic daily and preventive dental care, which can lead to pain and more costly dental treatment. The My Healthy Smile app can help children and adults with special needs as well as their parents, caregivers and dentists, who collectively can help make a difference.”

My Review:

Having a background in public health, as well as having been a health educator in schools, hospitals and in the community for years, I am always eager to try out new teaching tools that relate to health issues/concerns.  When I found out about this app, I had to try it out for myself.  Even though I don't have any children with special needs or learning disabilities, I will be sharing my review from the educational standpoint.

I was impressed with this app and how they go about teaching children about proper dental health, and all about getting braces, x-rays, fillings and much more.  I love how this app is broken down into "At Home" and "At the Dental Office."  This is great in that let's parents teach children that dental care happens at home and at the dentist.  If you don't take care of your teeth properly, then you will have to go to the "Dental Office" in order to have your teeth looked at and taken care of by a dentist.  Another great feature of this app. is that each topic is broken down into beginner or intermediate levels of teaching.  Children will like following along with this app as children are providing the voice overs to the slides.  You have the option of repeating a script or set of slides if you want to reinforce a particular topic, which is always good to do.

Overall, this is a great teaching app. and one that I would recommend to parents who have children with autism or learning disabilities.  Your children can sit down and play through the scripts themselves, or together you can watch and listen, and then discuss each topic.  This will help children feel more comfortable about their trips to the dentist and the importance of dental care.

---BUY NOW---

You can buy My Healthy Smile today at the iTunes store for only $4.99.

About Fraser:

Founded in 1935, Fraser serves children and adults with special needs in the areas of education, housing and healthcare. Fraser is also Minnesota’s largest and most experienced provider of autism services. For more information, call 612-861-1688 or visit

About Delta Dental of Minnesota:

An independent, non-profit health services company, we take seriously our mission to serve Minnesotans’ oral health needs. Since 1969, we’ve accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. We also know the importance of doing right by the communities we serve. We’ve partnered with community organizations and social service agencies to address the dental needs of Minnesota’s underserved and uninsured populations. In 2009, we contributed more than $985,000 in grants and donations to support a range of programs addressing oral health and community needs. Delta Dental of Minnesota is based in Eagan, Minnesota. Delta Dental is a registered mark of Delta Dental Plans Association. Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent nonprofit dental services company and is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois. For more information, visit

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this app in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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