Going to the dentist isn’t always the easiest for kids. But with events like Children’s Dental Day in Tennessee, oral health professionals are aiming to take the fear away from the minds of kids.
According to The Bristol Herald Courier about 75 children showed up to the carnival-like event to learn more about oral health importance. The kids participated in different games, activities, face painting, and watched a magician show off a few tricks. While it may seem like fun and games, the children actually learned a lot about why they need to keep their mouths in good condition.
Students from the University of Tennessee dental school conducted oral hygiene check on the children at one of the many stations the event offered. In addition, some children were able to have their teeth cleaned by students from East Tennessee State University.
This event was just a small part of a much larger health initiative. Smile Power Week helps Tennesseans understand the importance of oral health and teaches them about different work being done across the state at low-cost and free clinics.
During the event, the kids were shown how to brush their teeth and even received a free toothbrush. The organizers of the event set up a station for children to eat a pink pill that revealed any spots they missed while brushing. If they missed any, they had to brush again and take care of them. Helen Scott, executive director of Healing Hands, spoke about the importance of the day.
“We’re trying to help educate children so they won’t become our patients in the future,” Scott said. “They loved it and had a really good time. They really enjoyed themselves.”
Research from The Commonwealth Fund showed 13% of adults in Tennessee ages 18 to 64 have lost six or more teeth due to infection, gum disease, or decay. In this national study, the state ranked 39th.
Children should begin regular dental visits at age one. Getting them in early (and taking them to events like this one) will properly start them for a lifetime of good oral health practices.