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Elmo Teaches Children about Oral Health in Ready Set Brush!

ADA collaborates with Reader's Digest Children’s Books and Sesame Workshop on book

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CHICAGO, October 16, 2008—Sesame Street's lovable Elmo is helping teach children how to brush their teeth in a new book called Ready, Set, Brush!. The book features images of Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Count and other Sesame Street Muppets in a pop-up book created to teach young children how to take care of their teeth. The book is the result of a collaborative effort between the American Dental Association (ADA), Reader's Digest Children's Books and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street.

"Parents have an enormous influence on their young children's oral health habits,” said Dr. Kimberly Harms, ADA consumer advisor. "This book is designed to help parents teach the importance of oral health in a fun way.”

Ready Set Brush! is available for purchase at a variety of retailers including, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Target, Costco and Sam's Club, and at the ADA's 149th Annual Session and World Marketplace Exhibition at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio from Oct. 16–Oct. 19. The Annual Session is expected to draw more than 30,000 dental professionals.

Walkaround Elmo will make an appearance during the Annual Session in the ADA Pavilion to take photos with children Thursday, Oct. 16, from 12:30–1pm and 1:30–2pm.

"What better way than to have Elmo remind another generation of children of the importance of good dental health?" said Harold Clarke, president and publisher, Reader's Digest Trade Publishing. "We are delighted to have the opportunity for Reader's Digest, Sesame Workshop and the ADA to combine resources on this project and hope that this book will be entertaining and educating kids for years to come."

Readers of the 12-page book can spin a wheel to see how much toothpaste they need to put on Elmo's toothbrush (a pea-sized amount instead of a large dollop), use a cutout brush to clean Marvin Monster's teeth, and more.

"Sesame Workshop is pleased to have worked with the ADA for this Sesame Street children's book," said Jeanette Betancourt, Ed.D., Vice President, Outreach and Educational Practices, Sesame Workshop. "Our hope is that the use of a book such as Ready, Set, Brush is just one way to assure that oral health is a critical aspect of young children and their families' lives and a way to establish lifelong habits.”

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street.  As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations.  Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo.  In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives providefamilies tools for addressing such issues as children’s health, military deployment and emergency preparedness.   As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop’s educational research and creative content for children around the world.  Learn more at