It’s that time again for the annual 2014 National Children’s Dental Health Month Coloring Contest sponsored by the Illinois State Dental Society. Enter before February 28, 2014!

Children in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades are eligible to participate in this fun contest.

This year, the message being stressed is #2min2x – Help your kids brush their teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day – for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded in each grade category (K-3), and winners will receive their prizes by mail at the expense of the Illinois State Dental Society.
Contest winners will be notified by mail by May 1, 2014.

Interested in this great contest or just want a fun coloring sheet for your child? Please email us at with the Subject: ISDS 2014 Coloring Contest, and we will send you the two-page PDF file!  Or call us at (773) 888-1727!  [We will not add you to any e-mailing or calling lists or distribute your contact information; it will be a one-time e-mail that includes the ISDS contest rules and coloring sheet.]

November 1!  It’s National Brush Day!  What a better day than today for your favorite Chicago neighborhood dentists at Chicago Ave Smiles to start blogging!

It’s not a coincidence that National Brush Day comes one day after the candy-focused holiday known as fun and scary spooktacular Halloween!  There is no time more important that right now to remind our children of good nutrition and oral hygiene habits at home.  Did you know that dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S.?

While it may be difficult to completely eliminate these sugary candies this time of year, we should realistically be able to consume them in moderation and under parental supervision.  Take the pledge to help keep kids’ mouths healthy by brushing #2min2x a day!

Visit to get fun 2-minute videos to entertain your children while they brush!  Which one is your child’s favorite video?

Text “BRUSH” to 30364 to receive children’s oral health tips on your cell phones via SMS messages!  (Your carrier’s messaging rates will apply.)

Some other great Halloween tips for parents from the Chicago Dental Society [source: CDS Dental Dateline]:

  • Know how much candy your child has collected and store it somewhere other than the child’s room.  Have it so close can be an irresistible temptation for many children.
  • Be a role model for your children by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself.  To avoid temptation, buy the candy that you plan to distribute at the last minute and get rid of any leftovers.
  • Consider an exchange:  allow your child to pick out his favorite candies from his haul, and then “buy” his leftovers.  You might be surprised at what your child will give up in exchange for a trip to his favorite store or more time for a favorite activity!
  • Eat treats with meals.  Saliva production increases during meals, flushing out food particles and helping to neutralize cavity-causing acids.
  • Grab a piece of sugarless gum after meals.  Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for scientifically proving that chewing the gum (try with xylitol) for 20 minutes after meals helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Think of each piece of Halloween candy as a reminder to follow the 1-2-3s of good daily oral hygiene.  Floss once a day, brush twice a day, and eat three balanced meals a day!  You might also offer some alternatives
  • Offer some alternatives to the trick-or-treaters who come to your door!  Consider offering non-food treats like stickers, temporary tattoos, little bottles of bubbles and small games, tiny decks of cards, or crayons (visit a party supply store!).  You could also offer healthier snacks instead, such as pretzels, small boxes of cereal, or sugar free gum.

Do you have any great ideas that you’d like to share with us?  Please let us know!  We are always happy to hear great and creative ideas from our readers!