On Feb. 12 and 13, in recognition of Children’s Dental Health Month, a group of University of Florida dental students and faculty visited 240 first and second grade students at Terwilliger Elementary School in Alachua County as part of Lessons in a Lunchbox, an oral health literacy program.
The day was part of ongoing efforts by the UF College of Dentistry and other community groups to learn more about the prevalence of dental caries in Alachua County, and take steps to reduce the significant number of local school-age children who suffer from oral health issues and are in need of dental treatment.
The children participated in fun learning exercises including use of visual aids to identify foods that were good and bad for teeth. The dental students helped the children disclose their own dental plaque and helped them learn the proper brushing techniques to remove plaque. The children also received a lunch box containing a color coordinated carrot case with a rinse cup top designed to store a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss.
More community outreach and education events at local schools are planned for the coming months. For information about how you can get involved, contact Ashley Baptiste at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Lessons In A Lunch Box: Healthy Teeth Essentials and Facts about Snacks” is an oral health literacy program designed to empower children and families with knowledge about good oral health practices including routine dental care, oral health maintenance and good dietary choices. The program was created by Dr. Winifred Booker, a pediatric dentist and CEO of the Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute, in response to the numerous health and behavioral issues seen in children with dental caries. To learn more about “Lessons in a Lunch Box” please visit mycohi.org.
–– Submitted by Ashley Baptiste, DMD Class of 2015