BUENA PARK, California--Nine-year-old Ambria Schneringer of Ripon, Calif., knows a little something about what it takes to get kids like herself to brush their teeth.
The fourth grader at Weston Elementary has captured first prize in a national toothbrush design contest sponsored by Dr. Fresh, maker of fun kids' oral care products, in celebration of February's National Children's Dental Health Month.
Schneringer's winning idea is the "White Brite"--a toothbrush that takes inspiration from the colorful, flashy, and competitive world of kids' video games.
"You never hear parents nagging their kids to play video games, right?" asked Schneringer. "Well, my toothbrush is similar to a video game. It will light up with different colors and levels as you brush."
With her toothbrush idea, kids can compete against each other for the highest brushing score, which is shown in a window at the base of the handle.
In the contest entitled "Be A Dental Inventor," kids were asked to dream up, describe, and draw a design for a toothbrush they thought would motivate their peers to brush thoroughly and regularly.
"We've always believed that dental hygiene can and should be fun for children. Ambria's toothbrush really puts that concept into practice," said Dr. Fresh.
Schneringer won a $500 U.S. Savings Bond, as well as an all-expense paid trip with a parent to the Disneyland resort. While there, she will also meet with the design team at the Dr. Fresh headquarters in nearby Buena Park.
Two runners-up--Tayler Gibbons, 9, of Gilbert, Ariz., and Ty Lynam, 8, of Marlow, Okla., will each receive $250 U.S. Savings Bonds.
Gibbons, a fourth grader at C.T.A. Freedom School, designed "Critter Brushes," available in a selection of favorite animals that make their sound only when the user has brushed for a full two minutes.
Lynam, a second grader at Marlow Elementary, designed a colorful toothbrush shaped like an electric guitar.
It "plays notes in the direction you brush, so you can make your own music," said Lynam.
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