"Brush your teeth" is one of those mantras chanted by parents everywhere. I suppose we say it so often in the hope that one day when we're not around, our kids will still hear the words echoing in their heads -- along with "wash your hands" and "cover your mouth when you cough." February is Brush your Teeth Month (actually they call it National Children's Dental Health Month, but I like my name better.) Either way, here are my dental hygiene Web picks.
The American Dental Association (sponsors of National Children's Dental Health Month) has created a Teen Corner that is educational and appropriate for all ages. Visit for the straight scoop on water fluoridation, tooth sealants, and gum disease (just to name of a few of the nine topics covered under Prevention) -- all done without a single animated toothbrush. You'll also find important information on smoking ("You know it's bad for your lungs and makes your hair and clothes smell, but wait until you see what it does for your teeth and gums.") and protecting your teeth during sports.
With informative articles for parents and colorful Shockwave games for kids, this Johnson & Johnson site covers all the bases. Parents will appreciate the tips on encouraging good dental hygiene and the tooth time line which shows tooth development from 3 months to twelve years. And kids (of all ages, of course) can play Remember to Reach (a Concentration-style tile game) and Dunk Mr. Plaque (a ball toss.)
"How long do you take to brush your teeth? Most people think they brush for at least a minute or two, but in reality they brush for thirty seconds or less. Time yourself and see how you do. An effective brushing takes two to three minutes." This informative site from the Nova Scotia Dental Association covers Healthy Teeth in four chapters: Teeth and Gums, Prevention, Cavities and Braces. Yes, there are a few animated toothbrushes (and even a dancing tooth), but don't let that stop you from visiting.
"Your teeth aren't just hanging around inside your mouth! They've each got a job to do! So come on in, click around and discover what your teeth are doing, plus find out how to keep those teeth happy and healthy." This animated Flash lesson has lots of chewing and biting and is my pick of day. When you're done with the introductory animation, continue onto Arnold's Great Tooth Exploration (which requires Shockwave.) To finish the lesson off, there is a printable tooth terminology word search and printable tooth chart.