If you want to enjoy the time you spend brushing your teeth every day, then Pokémon Smile is for you.
Like almost everyone, when I first saw Pokémon Smile I thought it was super gimmicky, but after using it and laughing way more than I ever have before when brushing my teeth, I think it’s fantastic.
The app is quite simple, since at its core, it’s just a two-minute timer that also shows what section of your mouth to brush at a given time. What makes it fun is that it’s got a cartoon art style and tons of Pokémon charm.
To use it, you need to set your phone up so it faces you when you’re brushing. The app then films you and adds an AR Pokémon hat for fun so you can see what you’re doing. The filming aspect is also to make sure that you’re brushing in the right spots for enough time.
Along the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the Pokémon you selected during setup, and a guide to show you where to brush. The guide changes as you go, so the first minute focuses on your top row of teeth and then the second minute is the bottom. The screenshot above only shows what it looks like when you’re brushing the front of your teeth, but the guide changes to show the back and bottom zones too.
The Pokémon you chose will attack grime on your teeth as you brush. If you do a proper job, you get a chance to catch a monster that was stuck in your teeth. During my test, it gave me a ‘Masterball’ to catch a Pidgey. I was unable to run more tests to see if you get weaker Pokéballs if you brush less effectively, since you can only brush with the app every few hours.
In the app’s settings, you can extend your brushing to three minutes or down to one depending on your routine. You can also enable some notifications that will give you a heads up when its time to brush if you’re prone to forgetting about it.
In terms of gameplay, the app rewards you with new Pokémon to collect in your PokéDex and augmented reality hats to wear while brushing, plus you can decorate some pictures the app takes of you with included stickers and items to share. There’s not a lot of depth here, but I like that there is some kind of collectable hook.