DEAR HARRIETTE: Tooth decay runs in my family. Nearly everybody who got to be 40 has ended up with dentures. I am the first one to retain most of my teeth. I have had a bunch of dental procedures, but so far, no dentures. I mention this because I have two children who have inherited poor dental habits even though I have been vigilant about my own teeth. I don't know what to do to get them to understand the repercussions if they do not start practicing better dental hygiene. -- Clean Mouth, Denver
DEAR CLEAN MOUTH: If you live near any of your family members and are close to them, ask them to help you out by coming over -- together, preferably -- and doing a reveal of their mouths. Ask them to show your children what happens when you don't take care of your teeth. That kind of "scared straight" approach has awakened people to the potential downside of poor habits.
Shy of agreement from your family on this, you can go online and show your children countless examples of photos of people with poor dental hygiene and the erosive results. You can also take away privileges if they refuse to brush and floss their teeth. Don't give up.