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FYI Magazine

Making Oral Care Fun for Kids Year-Round

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Children's oral care is something many parents are concerned about year-round, but there are also several times during the year when oral care is especially important. For example, Halloween, the winter holidays, Valentine's Day and Easter are all large candy-eating times in the year, making it essential to take the time now to teach children the importance of maintaining good oral health.

"Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, so it's important to teach children effective tooth brushing habits, especially around the holidays, when children are typically consuming more sweets than usual," says dentist and mom Dr. Jennifer Salzer.

Oral care isn't usually a top priority for children and teeth cleaning may even be considered a chore to kids, which is why it is so important for parents to get involved and teach children the importance of proper oral care early on in their children's lives. To make oral care more fun for children, Dr. Salzer offers some of her best tips:

* Parents should brush their teeth with their child to set a good example. It also helps children to learn by watching and imitating their parent.

* Sing your child's favorite song, like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," or play a song from their favorite singer for the two minutes while they are brushing their teeth.

* Give your child a toothbrush that is designed to appeal to a toddler who is learning to brush and whose baby teeth are growing in, like Oral-B Stages 2, which is designed to effectively reach all teeth, with its narrow head, simple bristle pattern and Power Tip.

- For younger children, when their first teeth begin to appear, parents should brush teeth using a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush with a cushioned head to help protect babies' tender gums, like Oral-B Stage 1 toothbrush.

* It's important that children two and older use fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent decay as their teeth continue to develop. One such toothpaste, Oral-B Stages, provides effective cavity protection in a kid-tested, mild formula gel that comes in fun flavors that kids love, like "Fruit Burst" or "Princess Bubblegum."

For additional information about children's oral care and to get more of Dr. Salzer's expert oral health tips, visit