Dentists help kids get a jump on dental health
February 28, 2013
Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and don't consume sugary snacks throughout the day.
Those were some of the tips Fort Sill dentists gave to students at Sheridan Road Elementary School Feb. 22 during a visit as part of National Children's Dental Health Month. This year's theme is "Get a Gold Medal Smile.
Six dental residents, who are in the Comanche Advanced Education and General Dentistry 1-year Program, as well as the program's director and an instructor spoke to kindergartners through fifth graders.
Using hands-on presentations, the dentists also spoke about the different kinds of teeth, how to properly brush and about the importance of oral hygiene. Children were also given packets containing a toothbrush, floss and dental care instructions.
"It's really great that they came out to help the kids," said Christi Wilson, second grade teacher. "It's important for the children to learn about the proper care of their teeth so that when they are older they don't have problems."
Col. Bernie Hennessy, Comanche AEGD director, said the residents emphasized healthy drink choices and basic oral care to the youngsters.
"We want them to understand that it is important to brush twice a day for two minutes per time," he said. "And, we want to get kids to drink more water and milk as opposed to the cola drinks most kids like to drink, including my own."
Dentist Capt. Sky Sessions said he wanted children to learn about sugar and what bad affects it can have on teeth.
"We want to get them to eat a little bit less of sugar, and also to brush and floss every day," said Sessions, who will graduate July 12, and go to Fort Belvoir, Va.
Sessions and Maj. Nathan Parrish, Comanche AEGD deputy director and Cowan Dental Clinic officer in charge, taught a class of second graders that adults have 32 teeth, children have 20 baby teeth and that a tooth can have one to three roots.
They also spoke about the names of teeth using a training set of chompers.
"What do you call the big cutting teeth?" said Parrish.
"Beaver teeth" and "big teeth" were some of the replies.
"Yeah, they are a little like beaver teeth, and they are big," Parrish said. "They're called incisors."
In another class, dentist Capt. Nathan Buckner and Hennessy showed the students two eggs. One had set in water for a couple weeks, while the other set in a cola drink.
One was white and the other brown.
"There's acid in (carbonated) drinks like that and the acid started taking some of the mineral off the shell," Hennessy said pointing to the brown egg. "The same thing could happen to our teeth."
Second grader Mya Farish, age 7, said she learned that it's important to brush teeth.
"I learned that bacteria can chop your teeth," she said.
And, Jayden Licea, 8, said he learned that one should brush and floss every day.