Bedtime Brushing Tips For Children

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October is National Dental Hygiene Month and according to the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases of childhood " 5 times as common as asthma and 7 times as common as hay fever.

The best way to ensure that your child does not get cavities or gingivitis is to instill proper oral habits early. Here are three tips and tricks to make the task of teeth brushing a little more fun and a lot less taxing:

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o Make it a Math Game: Stand together in front of the bathroom mirror. Count out loud as you brush each tooth: "Tooth number one is done!" "Tooth number two is ready to chew!"

o Brush with a Buddy: Whether it's Dora the Explorer or Spongebob Squarepants, everyone in the family should take the time to keep their smiles bright " even the stuffed animals. While your child brushes their teeth, you brush their buddy's teeth.

o Creatively Track Healthy Habits: ColgateHealthyHabits.com provides parents the template to create a personalized log to help track of healthy bedtime rituals. Families enter each child's name and earn rewards for each day children brush their teeth, wash their hands, and read. Once the log is complete, a free child's toothbrush will be sent in the mail for each child in the family. Plus, children can print and color their log and easily tape it up on the wall.

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