CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Feb. 21, 2014) --"I have no cavities," said Jeffery Malone, a John O. Arnn Elementary School fourth-grader, after a school-wide dental screening conducted Feb. 20, by the U.S. Army Dental Activity-Japan, headquartered here.
DENTAC-Japan dentist Capt. Adrienne Rembert, DDS, and a few associates performed simple dental screenings on nearly 400 Arnn students over a three-day period as a part of National Children's Dental Awareness Month.
"The goal is to make sure [the students] are aware of their oral hygiene and teach them how to brush and floss daily to prevent cavities," said Rembert.
The students learned proper brushing and flossing techniques before Rembert conducted the dental screenings.
James Chang, the Arnn school nurse, was on board to help teach the students about the proper foods to eat and to avoid in order to maintain good oral health and prevent cavities.
"In the class, [the students] learned how many times to brush their teeth a day, when and how many times they should floss their teeth, and about drinking water because water contains fluoride, which prevents plaque and cavities," said Chang.
The students also learned about which foods can help strengthen their bones and their teeth.
Khalil Foxx, an Arnn Elementary fourth-grader, said he brushes and flosses his teeth twice a day.
"If you don't brush your teeth, they will go bad," said Foxx.
Chang said an event such as this helps teach the students good habits.
"You are what you eat," said Chang.
Dental health is a part of everyone's overall health, so it is important to learn preventative habits, Chang added.
"Some kids may not know how many times or when to brush their teeth," said Chang.
The event helps teach students not only when and how to brush and floss their teeth, but also when to visit the dentist, "by asking mom and dad to take them to the dentist twice a year," said Chang.
After each dental screening, the students were given a healthy screening certificate and a "goodie" bag with things to aid in dental maintenance.
The oral screenings showed that parents [here] are "doing a very good job" in keeping their children up on their children oral hygiene, said Rembert.