Reading for Smiles Workshop

Project History

Since good physical health helps children arrive at school “Ready To Learn,” Vegas PBS staff work to provide dental health resources to families in need. Reading For Smiles (RFS) was initiated in October 2001 with support from the Junior League of Las Vegas and consists of family engagement workshops featuring video clips, songs and hands-on activities to teach dental hygiene. Children who participate in these workshops take home resource bags containing a new toothbrush, a 30-day supply of dental flossers, an age-appropriate dental health book and a variety of resource materials for parents. Vegas PBS conducts up to 100 RFS workshops annually and provides over 3,000 dental kits to children each year.

In January 2007, RFS was presented the Outreach Community Impact Award by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). RFS was praised for its innovation and creativity, especially in serving Latino families.

Proper dental health care during childhood is vital for overall health and self-esteem.

Follow these tips to keep your child's smile bright and healthy:

Brush at least two times per day.

  • Supervise your child's brushing to make sure they brush all tooth surfaces, especially the molars. Don't forget to brush your tongue too!

Make sure each brushing lasts for at least two minutes.

  • Keep track of the time by playing your child's favorite song, such as Elmo's Brushy Brush song. When the song is over, you are too!

Floss once daily.

  • Always use an "up and down" motion, never back and forth. Glide the floss along each side of your tooth to remove germs that toothbrushes can't reach.

Visit the dentist annually.

  • The American Dental Association recommends that infants visit the dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. If your child has not been to the dentist, reading about the experience can help him or her prepare; try Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer.


Sesame Street's Health Teeth, Healthy Me provides videos, tips and tools designed to help you and your child care for your teeth together.