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Local mom sinks teeth into books about dental hygiene for kids

'I’ve learned what a battle it is to get the kids to do this on a regular basis and see the importance of long-term health,' says Oro-Medonte author Shauna Carter
Oro Medonte's Shauna Carter is working on a sequel to her debut children's book Save the Tooth Fairy.

As a mother of three, Shauna Carter knows how hard it can be to get kids to take on daily, mundane tasks.

After struggling to get her own kids to take care of their teeth, the Oro-Medonte resident decided to write a book that would help teach children positive habits and create healthy routines. 

Her first book, Save the Tooth Fairy, which was published last summer, is aimed at teaching kids about the importance of dental hygiene. 

“When I started to have kids, I would tell them stories, and they always enjoyed the stories I would make up. My kids were the ones who said I should try and figure out I could make a book,” Carter said.

The inspiration for the book, she told BarrieToday, stemmed from a traumatic childhood dental experience.

“When that happens to you when you’re a kid, that usually stays with you. As you grow, you’re afraid (of going) to the dentist. I love being a mom and I don’t want my children to go through pain,” she said.

Carter also realized there were no requirements for children to receive the “reward” from the tooth fairy.

“Through my own experiences, this is what sparked my creativity and the letter to the tooth fairy to change her requirements to help my children and others prevent painful dental experiences and (maintain) healthy oral health long term," she said.

Carter added that when she became a mother, she quickly realized the importance of having healthy hygiene rituals when they’re a child and sticking with it as they grow.

“I’ve learned what a battle it is to get the kids to do this on a regular basis and see the importance of long-term health. Your mouth is connected to your long-term health in other ways besides just your teeth,” she said. “It’s really important to set the stage when they’re really young.”

The tale is a bit of an origin story about the tooth fairy, she explained, and how each child can keep her alive for generations to come through daily hygiene routines. 

“I like to have underlying positive messages in my stories, even though it’s not something I like to drill into it," Carter said. "It’s just something where there can be ‘aha’ moments throughout and a child can connect with it.”

The book is designed to make bedtime routines and personal hygiene practices enjoyable for children while instilling valuable lessons

The sequel, titled The Plaque Monster Attacks, has been completed and is just waiting for the illustrator to get started, she added, noting that the book expands on the theme from Save the Tooth Fairy.

“It goes into more detail about the mischievous creature and how he has a craving for teeth that haven’t been cared for," Carter said. "He builds an unlikely friendship with the Tooth Fairy, but it isn’t enough for him ... He then finds his way into the human world.

“It talks about how every child has the power to fight off the Plaque Monster and take the best care of their teeth."

Carter said she likes to include a special section at the conclusion of her books.

“At the end of the first book, there is a journal where they can write down fun memories they have of the tooth fairy. In the second, there will be a checklist of what is required to keep the Plaque Monster away," she said. 

For more information or to purchase the book, click here.