Having trouble getting your kid to brush their teeth? The $17.99 Colgate Magik might be able to help. Designed for children five to 10 years old, the Magik is a manual toothbrush that works with an augmented reality smartphone app that turns a twice-daily chore into a fun game. As they brush, children work to scrub away Cavity Monsters and earn diamonds that can be used to unlock fun, Snapchat-like AR face masks and new worlds. The Colgate Magik is affordable, and its excellent companion app makes two minutes of brushing fly by, helping children establish good oral hygiene habits and earning our Editors’ Choice.
Features and Setup
The Colgate Magik kit includes a toothbrush, a Magik connector that holds all the tech, and a stand for your phone. The toothbrush stands 7 inches tall, and is a good size for little hands. It works with the Colgate Magik smartphone app (available for Android and iOS) to teach kids how to properly brush and make oral hygiene fun by turning it into a game.
The goal of the Magik game is to earn diamonds, which can be used to unlock augmented reality masks (think Snapchat’s dog filter). There are lots of different masks you can unlock, including a hippie, unicorn, flamingo, bat, monster, sugar skull, witch hat, and Cheshire Cat. To earn diamonds, your need to brush away Cavity Monsters as they appear in the app. You can also use your diamonds to unlock new worlds, where you can acquire more masks.
Getting the toothbrush set up is easy. You simply place the colorful Magik connector on the end of the toothbrush, download the Colgate Magik app, and follow the instructions to create a profile for your child, including their name, age, and favorite color. Their avatar will be dressed in the hue you select.
When it’s time for your child to brush their teeth, you just open the Magik app, tap your child’s name to open their profile, press the big green arrow in the middle. Once you do that, a virtual selfie mirror appears in the app, and below that is a graphic of teeth.
You use your phone’s front-facing camera to center your child’s face in the virtual mirror (place your phone on the included stand to make this part easier), then press the big green arrow to start the game. As your child brushes, they will see their face in the virtual mirror as Cavity Monsters appear on the graphic of teeth below. Your child must brush their teeth in the corresponding spot to defeat the Cavity Monsters and earn diamonds. As they’re brushing, the app might offer advice, like to slow down. It even gives you a break halfway through to spit.
When you’re done brushing, you can see if you earned enough diamonds to unlock any new masks or new worlds. In addition to cashing in your diamonds for a mask, you can periodically win them. As you’re brushing, one may randomly appear on your face.
After brushing, you can snap a selfie and save it to a photo gallery in the app. There’s also a Treasure Chest section where you can try on the different masks you own and take photos of yourself.
The app also helps parents monitor their kid’s brushing. In the Parental Dashboard section, you can see stats for each session, including how much time your child spent brushing and whether they missed any spots.
My Experience With the Colgate Magik
The first time I brushed with the Magik toothbrush and app, I won a snorkeling mask. After that, it took me a few tries before I earned enough diamonds to unlock another. I later realized that I was holding the brush incorrectly, preventing the app from being able to tell where I was brushing.
You have to make sure you’re holding the brush where it says Colgate, not at the end. It’s a little tricky for someone with an adult-sized hand to hold the brush this way, but it shouldn’t be a problem for little ones. If your hand is covering the colorful part at the bottom of the Magik connector, the app won’t be able to tell where you’re brushing, and you won’t earn any diamonds. You’ll know that the app is tracking your brushing when you see the end of the brush light up on the screen, and bubbles start to flow from it.
It’s also important that you keep your face and the toothbrush centered in the virtual mirror so the app can see if you’re brushing where you’re supposed to. If the toothbrush moves outside of the mirror, or you stand too far away, the app won’t register your brushing and you won’t earn any diamonds.
Once I started holding the brush correctly, I started excelling at the Colgate Magik game, racking up diamonds, and unlocking masks. The app really does make brushing fun and helps to pass the time as you scrub away the Cavity Monsters and watch your diamond count go up. It’s also fun to try on your masks, snap selfies wearing them, and visit the gallery to check out all your photos.
One note: The app seems to drain your phone’s battery life quickly, to the tune of about ten percent on an iPhone 7 Plus in the two minutes it takes to brush my teeth. That said, Snapchat has a similar effect on my phone, so if Snapchat drains your phone’s battery quickly, you’ll probably have the same issue with the Colgate Magik app.
For $17.99, the Colgate Magik turns a necessary chore into a fun game kids will enjoy. I have a young niece and nephew who are obsessed with mobile games and Snapchat’s AR filters, so I know they’ll love the masks you can earn here. And the Magik offers a similar experience to the $50 Philips Sonicare for Kids at a fraction of the price, so it’s not nearly as much of an investment if you have multiple children. For its affordable price and fun gamified brushing experience, the Colgate Magik is our new Editors’ Choice. For adults, meanwhile, the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected is a worthy investment, offering a useful app with guided brushing and a built-in timer.