Posted: February 21, 2014 at 2:49 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Dental care is important to all of us. Parents should begin teaching their children about proper dental care at a very early age. Here are hints on how to take care of your children’s teeth:

Begin wiping your child’s gums after feedings as soon as possible to get him or her used to the process.

Once teeth break through, use a child’s toothbrush to gently brush the teeth.

Never let your child go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup full of milk or formula. This is a big NO-NO!

Make sure children always spit out toothpaste and do not swallow it.

Brush your children’s teeth twice a day. After breakfast and before bed are two good times.

Follow these simple hints, and your children’s smile will be beaming for years!

P.S.: Sing a song your child knows to let him or her know how long to brush teeth.

DEAR READERS: Whenever you travel - especially abroad - staying in older hotels and bed-and-breakfasts can feel less secure than your own home. For added security, try carrying a rubber-wedge doorstop. When you shut your door for the night, place the wedge a few inches from the opening side of the door frame and press it in with your foot until secure. Please don’t do this if you have a medical condition that may require help - it can prevent help from reaching you if needed.

DEAR HELOISE: I learned a neat trick years ago that I’d like to share. When you have to refill the windshield-washer fluid or any other fluid in your car, cut the top off a 2-liter, plastic soda bottle and use it for a funnel. Do this for each type of fluid, and mark them with a permanent marker to avoid cross-contamination. I keep one in my trunk, just in case. If one gets lost, I just make a new one.

  • Pete in Staten Island, N.Y.

DEAR HELOISE: I had a magnetic photo album full of old photos. I wanted to put them in a scrapbook but could not get them out without tearing them. A lady at a crafts store suggested that I use a hair dryer to release them. I did try it and was able to get most of them out. The ones that gave me trouble, I used dental floss on, and out they came.

  • Julia in Maryland

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle, Pages 37 on 02/21/2014