University of Oulu

Rasmus, K.; Toratti, A.; Karki, S.; Pesonen, P.; Laitala, M.-L.; Anttonen, V. Acceptability of a Mobile Application in Children’s Oral Health Promotion—A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3256.

Acceptability of a mobile application in children’s oral health promotion : a pilot study

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Author: Rasmus, Kirsi1; Toratti, Antti1; Karki, Saujanya1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-21


The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the acceptability of an oral health-related mobile application developed for young children based on the feedback given by the children and their parents. Another aim was to evaluate the self-reported change in children’s oral health behaviors during a short test period. The application—a virtual pet integrated into a child’s daily routines—aimed to promote oral hygiene and dietary behaviors in children. A total of 36 4–12-year-old voluntary children were given a mobile phone with the installed application. After the 5-week testing period, the feasibility of the application and possible changes in the children’s oral health behaviors were asked using an electronic questionnaire. Most of the children considered the application clear (n = 34), amusing (n = 31), and useful (n = 29). The children’s tooth brushing manners improved both qualitatively and quantitatively: the time used for tooth brushing increased and the children learned how to brush different tooth surfaces. Mobile applications can be fun and useful in oral health promotion; while playing, children can learn good oral health-related behaviors. Mobile applications integrate oral health promotion into children’s daily environment and routines.

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Series: International journal of environmental research and public health
ISSN: 1661-7827
ISSN-E: 1660-4601
ISSN-L: 1661-7827
Volume: 18
Issue: 6
Pages: 1 - 9
Article number: 3256
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18063256
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (