News: Airmen, civilians teach children to keep teeth clean
Story by Airman 1st Class Dennis Sloan
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — Airmen and civilians from the 87th Dental Squadron taught children at the Child Development Center the importance of proper oral hygiene, Feb. 15-16, in honor of National Children's Dental Health Month.
The dental professionals used child-friendly visual aids to grab the children's attention while teaching them proper oral hygiene techniques.
"The dinosaur and big toothbrush was cool," said Ethan White, 4, son of Staff Sgt. Jepheth White, 32nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-10 Extender flight engineer. "I learned I need to brush my teeth three times a day."
The team spent 30 minutes in each classroom, dressed as teeth, teaching the children about tooth decay prevention, proper brushing and flossing techniques.
"We used demonstrations to teach the children the importance of keeping their teeth clean," said Capt. Aragon Ellwanger, officer in charge preventive dentistry.
The children also reviewed the food pyramid and discussed why proper nutrition is a key factor in keeping teeth healthy.
"If we can establish an effective brushing and flossing technique and healthy eating habits early on in their childhood, we can help the children prevent oral disease in the future," said Tech. Sgt. Millicent Cavazos, NCO preventive dentistry.
The children were given a "children's dental health kit" after the presentations and demonstrations. The kit included a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a timer to help children know how long to brush their teeth.
"We want to set these children up for success by teaching them how to keep their teeth and gums healthy," said Cavazos. "Our motto is 'bringing the bite to the fight.'"
The 87th Dental Squadron provides dental care to all active duty service members assigned to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Please call 754-3787 for more information on proper oral hygiene.