Kadena health fair aims to help kids take better care of their teeth
Stars and Stripes March 2, 2008
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Some dental health care professionals hoped to take a bite out of cavities during a dental fair at Bob Hope Primary School on Friday — the last day of National Children’s Dental Health Month.
The dentists and technicians with 18th Dental Squadron talked to the first-graders about the anatomy of teeth, how to take care of them and how to make good food choices.
Games and props were used to get the message across.
The children crowded around tables to touch teeth molds, examine X-rays and select healthy foods for lunch.
“You have to break it down into steps they can understand,” explained Senior Airman Grace Peon, 21, a dental technician from New Iberia, La.
First-grade teacher Rena Symes said this was the best dental fair she had seen in seven years here.
The technicians told the kids about more than just brushing their teeth “and the props are really good at this age level,” she said.
One thing Airman John Sturm, 19, a dental technician from Cleveland, hopes the children remember is the importance of using a fluoride mouthwash because the water here is not fluoridated like it is in the States, he said.
That’s important since fluoride helps protect tooth enamel, Sturm said.
Avery Havery, 6, said he liked the “teeth and cavity” station best, where he learned “so you won’t kill your teeth, you have to kill the germs on your teeth.”