A gaggle of preschoolers not too long ago brushed up on the fundamentals of dental care and check-ups — because of just a little assist from the native tooth fairy and her dinosaur associates.
Bartholomew County Well being Division Dental Coordinator Colleen Ferry Sullivan, aka “the Tooth Ferry,” visited Busy Bees Academy on Feb. 24 to show college students about dental hygiene with some memorable strategies — together with checking stuffed dinosaurs for cavities and introducing the category to his colleague, a dinosaur puppet named Dr. Flossasauris.
After exhibiting the scholars the quick animated movie, “Dudley Visits the Dentist,” Sullivan demonstrated how you can costume like a dentist by serving to one youngster placed on a masks, gloves and dental robe.
“If you get your sufferers, be light,” Sullivan suggested the category, as she helped 5-year-old Anna Ryshavy go well with up. “They’re solely 1-year-old dinosaurs. And right this moment, you are going to be Dr. Anna.”
The opposite college students then donned their very own dental attire with assist from Sullivan and different adults. Subsequent, the newly-minted dentists used toothbrushes and dental devices to examine and clear the enamel of stuffed dinosaurs, with Sullivan and Dr. Flossasauris providing phrases of encouragement and recommendation.
Anna, for one, stated she wish to be a dentist and had enjoyable brushing her affected person’s enamel and counting them.
“Your enamel are good and glossy,” she advised the dino, earlier than reminding him to brush it twice day by day.
As soon as the check-ups had been completed, Sullivan taught the scholars a tune, reminding them to brush their enamel twice day by day for 2 minutes every time and go to the dentist twice a yr. College students additionally acquired a “Dinosaur Dentist Certificates” and dental luggage.
Friday’s Busy Bees go to was simply certainly one of a number of “Costume Like a Dentist” occasions held by the county well being division throughout February, which was Nationwide Youngsters’s Dental Well being Month. These occasions are additionally a part of Indiana’s Give Youngsters A Smile actions and the county well being division’s efforts to offer dental well being training to kids.
Sullivan estimated that she has taught about 500 kids about dental care in February, together with roughly 40 at Busy Bees.
“The principle aim of this program is getting them comfy with the dentist’s workplace,” she stated.
She additionally famous that many individuals have not gotten again into the routine of going to the dentist following the pandemic.
The county well being division is emphasizing the significance of excellent dental habits, in addition to the seriousness of tooth decay. In response to a 2010 Public Well being Report by then-US Surgeon Common Regina Benjamin, dental decay is the commonest persistent illness in kids, being 5 occasions as widespread as bronchial asthma and 7 occasions as widespread as hay fever.
“The most typical reason for tooth loss amongst adults is untreated periodontal (gum) illness,” wrote Benjamin. “Fifty-three million individuals dwell with untreated tooth decay of their everlasting enamel. Strikingly, one-quarter of adults aged 65 years and older have misplaced all of their enamel on account of untreated oral illness.”
When requested why some persons are afraid of dental visits, Sullivan stated that folks are generally apprehensive, which might be on account of previous experiences.
Nevertheless, as she not too long ago advised a gaggle of first-graders, if issues go mistaken, “The dentist is there to make you’re feeling higher.”