World Smile Day Brings Opportunity to Focus on Books, Brushing and Bedtime Routines

Brush, Book, Bed, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP,) has a simple and clear message for parents:

1.       Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.
2.       Read a favorite book (or two!)
3.       Get to bed at a regular time each night.

After tooth brushing and before bed, find a comfortable spot to sit and read with your child. Spending some time, even just 15 minutes each day, to read aloud together will help improve your child's language development and social-emotional skills. Make up your own stories, use silly voices, sing songs, and just enjoy this special bonding time with your child.

Grant Allen, MD, FAAP,  of Infants’ and Children’s Clinic in Florence was chosen as one of 10 practices in the nation to participate in the program, developed by the AAP Section on Oral Health. Already a Reach Out and Read-Alabama program site, prescribing books at each checkup to children six months to five years of age was a standard of care for this practice.

“Tying together many of the things we discuss with our young patients and families into a package was easy and fun for us plus a great benefit to our families. We used our brush books to discuss bedtime routines - emphasizing good oral health, early literacy activities and healthy sleep,” said Dr. Allen.

For many families, bedtime is a challenge, and having a way to discuss the challenges with positive messages for routines and health makes this an important part of each check-up. Not only do these routines create a healthy smile on your child but will help parents smile as they make bedtimes routines less stressful.

For more information on Reach Out and Read-Alabama visit roralabama.org. and healthychildren.org for nighttime routines for your child.