Although February is celebrated as the month of Valentine’s Day, the students in the Dental Assistant program at Ross Medical Education Center in New Baltimore, Michigan know that, more importantly, it is National Children’s Dental Health Month. In order to strive to make a difference for local children, the Dental Assistant students planned a visit to nearby Childtime Preschool.
National Children’s Dental Health Month was started by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a public service to promote dental hygiene in children and to inform parents about its importance to their children’s overall health. It began as a single day event in 1949, then becoming a week of activities in 1955, and finally, in 1981, it became the month-long celebration that is is today. The ADA continues to provide resources to both members of the dental team as well as the general public.
In preparation for their time in the preschool’s great room, working as a team, the students assembled coloring books that they printed off from the American Dental Association (ADA) website, filled Ross toothbrush goodie bags, cut out Tooth Tickets and Super Smile Gold Medals. In order to create an additional project this year, students cut out 7×7 inch felt squares and felt teeth. The New Baltimore Assistant Campus Director of Education, Ms. Tammy Stanson, then transformed these squares into Tooth Saver Pillows. She fabricated a total of 72 pillows.
Once at the school, three tooth fairies began with a mini-presentation entitled “Why Do We need to Keep our Teeth Clean?” After their presentation, it was off to the activity stations. The stations were: Build a marshmallow Mouth, Eat the Rainbow-Food Toss, TBI/OHI (tooth brush instruction & how to floss), and Sugar Shake – What’s in Your Drink?
A Dental Assistant program instructor shared about the experience, “the preschool instructors appreciate the coloring books, as they can be used during the rest of the month. The preschoolers just loved the pillows, as they could be seen squeezing them on their way back to classrooms. This annual event allows Ross students to work together diligently as a team to be prepared. Their patient communication skills and ability to think outside the classroom with active listening skills when dealing with pediatric patients was great to experience!”