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. They then got to work preparing for their time with the children there.
Working as a team, they assembled coloring books and take home goodie bags in preparation for their time in the classroom with the children. Once they were actually at the school, three tooth fairies began with a mini-presentation: “Why Do We Need to Keep our Teeth Clean?” After their presentation, it was off to the activity stations! At each station, Ross Dental Assistant students supervised a variety of games and craft projects. Some of the stations were: Build a Marshmallow Mouth, Eat the Rainbow – Good Food vs. Bad Food choices, Toothbrush Instruction, and the Gold Medal Smile Award.
New Baltimore’s Dental Assistant program instructor said of the experience, “We can be proud of our morning Dental Assistant students! They worked diligently to be prepared.” She continued, “their communication and active listening skills were put to the test. It was a great experience in pedodontic dental concerns, as well as great community service.” At the end of their time there, the Ross students awarded each of the preschool children with a Gold Medal Smile and take home goodie bags. The goodie bags included child sized toothbrushes, stickers, pencil, toothfairy tooth saver box, tooth eraser, and child size hand held flosser!
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 it is today. The ADA continues to provide resources to both members of the dental team as well as the general public.