Boys & Girls get their tooth fairy wingsTwo girls served as honorary tooth fairies at the Boys & Girls Club last week. The girls donned pink wings and rhinestone tiaras while assisting the staff of Just Kids Dental, a nonprofit preventive-dental education service.
By: Naomi Yaeger, Duluth Budgeteer News
Two girls served as honorary tooth fairies at the Boys & Girls Club last week. The girls donned pink wings and rhinestone tiaras while assisting the staff of Just Kids Dental, a nonprofit preventive-dental education service.
Ten-year-old Makayla Pearson told the Budgeteer that the role of the tooth fairy is to collect teeth, but last week she and her co-toothfairy, Olivia Martalock, 7, didn’t collect anything; instead they gave away goodie bags.
“Cavities are one of the leading causes of kids missing school,” Bethany Bergstad, a registered dental hygienist with JKD, told the Budgeteer. She and her colleagues were visiting the Dave Goldberg Boys & Girls Club to teach children good dental care.
“A lot of kids may not have had dental education. They may never have been to a dentist.”
JKD has set a goal of distributing more than 10,000 toothbrushes this year.
The afternoon educational session included colorful, stuffed toys that had teeth, and a set of what appeared to be dentures for a giant. The session began with teaching the children a dance to rap music.
The dance ended with children bringing their hands to their mouths
in a teeth-brushing motion.
Dental assistant Coleton Hardenbrook held a toothbrush the size of a Great Dane while quizzing the boys and girls with dental questions like: How many times a day should you brush your teeth? How much floss do you need? And how much toothpaste should you use?
“Our goal is that children are healthy so they can learn,” Bergstad told the Budgeteer.
Just Kids Dental visits schools during the school year in Lake, St. Louis and Douglas Counties giving students dental education and providing dental services to economically disadvantaged children. Families covered under private insurance are encouraged to continue care at their family dentist.
Services provided by a JKD-registered dental hygienist include: oral health instruction, screening, fluoride varnish, dental cleaning, and sealants.
The nonprofit has been providing services since 2006. It has administrative offices in Two Harbors and launched its oral health education program in school districts earlier this year.
“Pediatric dental disease is an epidemic in this country,” said the nonprofit’s founder Stacey Anderson. “A child can’t focus and learn if they’re in pain.”
And what was in the goodie bags?
Each included a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, a pencil and a sticker.
And the answers to the man with the Great Dane-sized toothbrush?
You should brush your teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. The amount of floss you need is the same length as the size of your foot.