By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderMarch 8, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Students at C.C. Pinckney Elementary School put their knowledge of dental hygiene to the test last week in the annual Sugar Bowl.
Designed to reinforce proper dental habits, the event brought together fifth grade students for an hour-long instruction on proper dental care. The event was capped by a quiz competition that pitted two teams of students against each other.
The teams, who dubbed themselves the Bros of Awesomeness and the Girls of Life, ended the day in a draw, each answering 12 questions correctly before the end of the period. The participants in last week's Sugar Bowl received movie passes.
"February is Children's Dental Health Month," said Laura Freeman, DENTAC administrative assistant. "DENTAC always goes around to schools and day care centers in February to stress proper dental hygiene issues for children. It's important to the Dental Corps to support this event. The goal was to make children aware of the importance of taking care of their teeth and to be aware of how much sugar is in soft drinks, candy and such things."
"I pick the questions, going from easiest to hardest to instill confidence in the competitors," said Col. Jamie Houston, DENTAC commander, the emcee of the Sugar Bowl. "My biggest emphasis is to stress that it's not the amount of sugar or acidic contents that bathe the teeth, it is the number of minutes that the acidic content of a soft drink is in contact with the tooth."
Stephanie Hadden, a DENTAC dental hygienist, said it's not unusual for children not to be aware of some fundamental hygiene habits.
"Some kids have never seen dental floss, or don't know they're supposed to floss at least one time a day," she said. "Some think they should only brush their teeth in the morning when they get up, and are surprised to learn that brushing your teeth before going to bed is the most important time of the day to brush."
Houston said children aren't the only ones in need of occasional advice on dental care. Even adults sometimes believe things that are not true. During last week's Sugar Bowl, he suggested children should share what they learned during the event with their parents.