Brush, book, bed campaign & kids' dental health resource guide An in-depth look from the Cabell County Family Resource Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 5, 2020

CONTACT: Debra Harris-Bowyer, Cabell County Family Resource Network Coordinator | P: 304.697.0255 | E: dbowyer@cabellfrn.org

CONTACT: Kaylin R. Adkins-Staten, Hourglass Media | P: 304.900.2833 | E: kaylin@hourglassomnimedia.com

brush, book, bed resources establish healthy routines for children

resource guide Highlights eight sectors to promote healthy teeth

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Thousands of children in West Virginia have tooth decay before they attend their first day in kindergarten. This is something parents and caregivers can prevent with good oral health habits.

That’s why the Cabell County Family Resource Network (Cabell County FRN) and its partners are promoting tips and resources this February during National Children's Dental Health Month.

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

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

Having a predictable nighttime routine will help children understand and learn to expect what comes next. Additionally, routines may ease the stress that some families experience at nighttime. The campaign offers a thorough approach to successful, tested tips and resources here.

Three years ago, in February 2017, The Cabell County FRN launched its Resources for Healthy Teeth Toolkit, and since then, thousands of children’s smiles across the region have gotten brighter.

“Healthy dental habits include regularly brushing teeth, dental visits, and healthy eating practices,” said Gina Sharps, oral health coordinator at Marshall University Joan C. Edward School of Medicine. “Children with healthy teeth live longer more productive lives and have higher self-esteem. The oral health of your child is important to ensure their school success, health and happiness. Children with poor oral health perform poorly in school, have difficulty concentrating, and often struggle with getting a job when they get older.”

The information in the Toolkit is compiled to make it easy to access a variety of different materials to help parents and programs promote good oral health and help children have healthy teeth and smiles for life.

“The Cabell County FRN has compiled many different topics and website links to quality information like children’s activities, ideas and tools for teachers of preschool and school age children, how parents can find a dentist and many other items,” said Debra Harris Bowyer, coordinator of Cabell County Family Resource Network. “By providing a guide to resource information and promoting it in the community, we hope to increase the knowledge of these resources and the utilization of dental services and help children be cavity free. Many times, parents and caregivers aren’t sure where to go for resources. In West Virginia, 55 percent of children have CHIP and Medicaid. The WVCHIP Benefit Plan covers a full range of dental services; however, many don’t use their CHIP and Medicaid dental coverage. Families can find out eligibility and more on the WVCHIP website, www.chip.wv.gov."
These graphics help to promote the national campaign on a local and statewide scale.

Examples of included Local, state, regional and national resources are the following:

  • National children’s dental health campaign
  • Tips for healthy teeth for parents and caregivers
  • Finding a dentist close to you
  • Lessons to use with students in the classroom and beyond
  • Fun activities for children
  • Local, state, regional and national resources

Samples of Resources

Find A Dentist Near You and Establish Your Child's Dental Home!

Here are some best Children's Oral Health practices from credible sources, like the CDC and AAP.

The print and digital resource guide, available on www.cabellfrn.org, provides the following (Click on the links to access individual lists):

CHILDREN: Activities, videos, phone apps

PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS: Tips for healthy teeth

EARLY EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Pre-K and in-home family education

SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS: Lessons and activities, K-12



COUNTY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH: Resources, oral health education

DENTISTS: Find a dentist, dental home, insurance, CHIP

This project is done in collaboration with the Community and School Oral Health Team at Marshall University School of Medicine, which applauds the efforts of the Cabell County FRN as it works to empower families in our local communities. The Cabell County FRN recognizes that families cannot be healthy unless they have the proper knowledge and tools on how to care and maintain healthy teeth and mouths.

To access graphics, stock photos and other materials, click here.

Here are some kids’ dental health best practices, from Gina Sharps, oral health coordinator at Marshall University Joan C. Edward School of Medicine:

  • Brush two minutes two times per day with fluoridated toothpaste. It’s recommended that you help your child brush until they’re around 8 — and that’s due to the development of his or her fine motor skills. At around 8 and older, you children can brush on their own — about the same time they can tie their own shoelaces and brush their own hair.
  • Once your child’s teeth start to come into the mouth, brush using a children’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Drink tap water with fluoride and eat healthy foods. Try to avoid sugar in your child’s diet as much as you can because sugar is a leading cause of early tooth decay.
  • Consider using dental sealants to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants cover the chewing portion of the tooth and are placed as soon as the permanent six year and 12 year molars come into the mouth.
  • It’s also best to start your child’s visits with a dentist at age one.

The Cabell County Family Resource Network (FRN) is a partnership of individuals, families and agencies working together to promote the well-being of children and families in Cabell County. Since its incorporation in September 1993, the Cabell County FRN has brought together a broad-based representation of partners, including business representatives, consumers, and service providers from health, education, housing, and social services. These partners are critical to improving the well-being of our families and children. The Cabell County FRN envisions a coordinated, community-based social service system responsive to the needs of families and effective in enhancing the success of individuals and families to responsibly achieve their goals.

Love Your Teeth!

Some Essential Information:

Here's some more information about the WV Board of Education's Dental Examination Policy.

Photos from Unsplash.com, CabellFRN.org, Hourglass Media

Created By Hourglass Media

Created By
Kaylin Staten


Created with images by Christian Hermann - "Baby Ben is waiting for his lunch" • William Warby - "Close-up of a toothbrush with toothpaste in high key, shot against a white background" • Anna Kolosyuk - "untitled image" • Kiana Bosman - "International Women’s Day"Photos by Kaylin R. Staten, Upsplash and others.