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Brushing up on dental care earns $500
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Weston Elementary School Principal Lisa Fereria with fourth grader Ambria Schneringer, 9, who won a national toothbrush design competition.

RIPON - A 9-year-old Ripon elementary school fourth grader has won first place in a national toothbrush design contest.

Ambria Schneringer, who attends Weston Elementary School, and knows a little something about what it takes to get kids like herself and her 7-year-old  brother to brush their teeth.

Ambria is being given a $500 U.S. Savings Bond as well as an all-expense paid trip with a parent to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

While there she will also meet the design team sponsoring the contest in nearby Buena Park.

The national contest was sponsored by Dr. Fresh, maker of fun kids’ oral care products in celebration of February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Ambria’s winning sketch 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?” asks Ambria.

“Well, my toothbrush is similar to a video game.  It will light up with different colors (bands on the handle) and levels as you brush.”

With Ambria’s toothbrush idea, kids can compete against each other for the highest brushing score, 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.

Two runners up in the contest were Tayler Gibbons, 9, of Gilbert, AZ and Ty Lynam, 8, of Marlow, OK.  Each will receive a $250 U.S. Savings Bond.

Also a fourth grader, Tayler designed “Critter Brushes,” available in a selection of favorite animals that make their unique sounds only when the user has brushed for the full two minutes.

Ty, a second grader, designed a colorful toothbrush shaped like an electric guitar.  It plays notes in the direction of the brush, so a child can make their own music.