May 27, 2020

Brushing to a Brighter Future

How Colgate and Magnusmode help overcome the challenges of oral care

Everyone deserves a future they can smile about.  Colgate champions this simple and powerful message, and is determined to provide people everywhere, from every walk of life, with steps toward a better future, full of healthy smiles.

For many people with cognitive special needs, that healthy smile is easier said than achieved. Sensory issues associated with brushing, flossing and going to the dentist can make oral care a daily challenge. To combat these barriers to brighter smiles, Magnusmode and Colgate partnered in 2016 to combine their expertise in technology and oral care to find a solution.

Magnusmode’s Card Decks — digital, how-to guides accessed through an app — help meet the needs of the growing segment of adolescents with cognitive special needs who are bridging adulthood. Often, parents and caregivers search for tools that empower their loved ones and provide steps towards a greater sense of independence. The innovative Card Decks, which are filled with Colgate’s oral care expertise, provide guidance to the cognitive special needs community, making an important and routine activity manageable.

The result? Serious empowerment. Such an impactful result is what drives the Magnusmode team to seek out such important partnerships.

“I was so excited for the Colgate meeting,” says Nadia Hamilton, Founder of Magnusmode. “But hours before I was to fly out, the worst snow storm happened and my flight was cancelled. I was determined to make it and ended up travelling from Toronto to New York on the bus. It was a great meeting because I felt like it was a conversation — the people in the room were on board and ready to make a difference.”

Following that first step, Colgate and Magnusmode developed a series of five oral care Card Decks: brushing, brushing with braces, rinsing, flossing, and visiting the dental office. Colgate’s oral health professionals worked with the Magnusmode team over several months to storyboard the Card Decks, ensuring that each aspect was thoughtfully developed for the end user.

“For caregivers of individuals with cognitive special needs, forming daily routines like brushing your teeth can often be challenging,” says Dr. Barbara Shearer, scientific affairs director at Colgate. “Colgate understands that a healthy mouth is integral to healthy living, and we were honored to partner with this innovative app to help make routines, such as daily oral care, easier for both people with special needs and their caregivers.”

The fun-loving, educational characters from both companies — Magnus and Dr. Rabbit — act as a dynamic duo in the Card Decks. They walk users through each step of these key oral care processes. For example, the “Brushing Your Teeth” Card Deck highlights Magnus brushing his teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Magnus shows the user how to squeeze toothpaste onto the toothbrush, how to sweep the toothbrush away from the gum line in an up-and-down motion, and how to rinse the mouth with water.    

After the Card Decks launched in October 2017, it didn’t take long for positive reviews to start rolling in.

Stuart Duncan, author of the Autism from a Father’s Point of View blog, tried out the Card Decks with his son.

“My son went into the bathroom, set the phone up against the back of the sink, loaded up the “Colgate – Brushing Your Teeth” deck and followed the cards,” Duncan said. “It was so simple. It was as if he had done it a thousand times before. You know what? It worked!”

Testimonials like Duncan’s drove home the reason to believe in MagnusCards. Members of the cognitive special needs community were taking small but powerful steps towards greater independence.  

“The way that people of all abilities view themselves makes a big difference in how they end up living their lives and the activities that they participate in,” says Hamilton. “A healthy smile builds self-confidence, which is why Magnusmode is thrilled to partner with Colgate to encourage healthy habits for brighter futures.”