This February, Dental Assistant students from Ross Medical Education Center in Charleston, WV visited a local elementary school to teach 55 first grade students about effectively caring for their teeth in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month. Students gathered at Piedmont Elementary and broke elementary students into groups of three. The children learned how to brush their teeth, made mouth crafts out of marshmallows, and even had a very special visit from the tooth fairy!
Students were encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day while singing the “ABC” song. Additionally, they were excited to share how many teeth they have lost and how often they go to the dentist. After the activities, the kids really enjoyed the opportunity to share their crafts and coloring pages with each other and their teachers as well. Lead Dental Assistant Instructor, Tauletha Chaffin, shared how great of an experience it was for the students to get to work with local kids, “it really gives them an idea of what it is like to work with people outside of the classroom. Additionally, it can be good insight to see if they are interested in pediatric dentistry. The students were really excited to participate and it generated a great overall experience.”
Although it was an invaluable experience for the Ross Dental Assistant students, it was also very impactful for the younger students at the elementary school. Many of them were expressing their excitement about what they were learning and about taking care of their teeth in the future. Caitlin Lastoira, an employee at Piedmont Elementary, found it helpful as well, “it is a great reminder to our students, no matter what age, on how important dental hygiene is for their overall health. To be able to remind them in a fun learning environment is even better. We really appreciate Ross students taking the time out of their busy day to talk with our kids.” It was an excellent and memorable experience for all.