Sam And The Sugar Bug

Sam and the Sugar Bug book encourages kids to brush, now available on iTunes

May 22, 2013
Dentist takes proven technique and puts it in book form
Meg Kaiser, Associate Editor

How to get kids to brush their teeth? That is the age-old question, and one that nearly every parent and dental professional must deal with. Many ideas have been introduced recently to encourage kids to brush, from musical toothbrushes, fashion toothbrushes, popular celebrity spokespeople, and whimsical flossers.

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Dr. Humairah Shah is a California dentist who works primarily with children, and she too, faces the dilemma of getting them to brush their teeth regularly. When she began to win the battle, she decided to share her solution with her fellow dental professionals and exhausted parents ... an original book entitled “Sam and the Sugar Bug.”

“I work with kids only, and I would always tell them that I was going to check for Sugar Bugs in their mouth (when I do their oral exam), and then they would let me do the exam,” Dr. Shah explained. “Kids loved it. That inspired me to write the book using my character ideas.”

Dr. Shah came up with the Sugar Bug, “Just talking to kids and trying to get them to brush every night,” she said. “You have to come down to children’s level to help them understand.”

“Sam and the Sugar Bug” teaches children the importance of brushing their teeth with an engaging story and vivid illustrations. While it’s been available in hardback for a few years, the book is now available to be downloaded on iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

“The impact of audio is amazing, and every kid loves to play on gadgets nowadays,” Dr. Shah said. “I wanted to make the book more interesting, and video will achieve that. The book is currently free for a month. It can be downloaded to iPhone, iPad and iPod.”

Feedback for the book, both online and in print, has been very good. “Parents and my fellow dental professionals love it,” said Dr. Shah. “It has mostly five-star reviews in iBooks. They also want to release it in Andriod, which I’m planning to do.”

“As a dentist, I really appreciate this book,” 90066dentist wrote on the iTunes review site. “It explains dental treatment to children in a way they can understand and appreciate. It helps me because it was written by a dentist, so it is more informative than other books of its kind. I highly recommend it!”

“Beautiful story,” another review reads. “Our daughter loves the book. It’s very educational, and it teaches kids the importance of brushing in a fun way. The sound effects are awesome.”

Another wrote, “Sam and the Sugar Bug is excellent for young children as it combines visual and audio effects in an instructional storyline. It brings across the importance of teeth brushing within a fun story. Young children will get the message.”

To see a sample of the book, visit To preview the video, visit