A yearly program to get dental hygienist students up and running with some practice under their belts includes dressing like tooth fairies on their mission to offer better oral health.
The Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) worked with the Wharton County Junior College dental hygiene program to offer children education and free screenings in the area during the National Children's Dental Health Month in February.
Second-year hygienist students participated in part play and part work as they teach with a teeth-lined alligator puppet and goody bags that include toys and information about how to keep teeth and gums healthy and shiny.
Other features of the program included a 45-minute curriculum that includes a pre-test, post-test and teacher evaluation for the dental hygiene students, while the younger children were taught to identify healthy snacks and the importance of brushing two times a day for two minutes at a time as well as visiting the dentist.
According to MEHOP's executive director, Brenda Harris, the program has been successful in getting children motivated and aware about the condition of their teeth and gums.
"The dentist is seeing that when children are coming back in for re-checks, he's seeing less oral decay and better oral health of the mouth," she added.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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