Dentist visits Verbena Annex

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019


By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Dentist Chris Smith and his team visited the Verbena Annex on Feb. 12 to teach students about dental hygiene.

Smith began the presentation by asking how many of the students brushed their teeth twice a day.

Several students raised their hands.

Flossing once a day was also encouraged. Students were divided on whether they enjoyed brushing or flossing more.

Answers to Smith’s question about how long the elementary students brushed their teeth ranged from two to 20 minutes.

Smith told students the recommended amount of time is two minutes.

“Do you know how long two minutes is?” Smith asked. “Hum your favorite song while you are brushing — that’s two minutes.”

Students were able to correctly answer his questions testing their knowledge of why brushing one’s teeth is important.

“So we don’t get cavities,” one student said.

Smith highlighted how sugar in unhealthy food can have a negative impact on their teeth.

“You can eat candy, just don’t eat it all the time,” Smith said.

The class discussed other snack options that did not have the cavity-causing sugar.

Smith emphasized the importance of brushing one’s teeth after eating candy.

He told students to put only a small amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush and brush in small circles.

Students practiced brushing all areas of a tooth, including near the gum line, on a poster of a tooth.

Each student who attended the presentation received a bag of dental hygiene items, including tablets that would show them if they had properly brushed their teeth.

“Brush your teeth, then when you get done chew these up and rinse your mouth out really good and then smile,” Smith said. “Wherever you forgot to brush will be pink and you can immediately see. ‘Oh, I need to brush that spot again.”

Many of the students said they had been to a dentist in the past.