YMCA stresses dental habits

Kids in the YMCA summer program practiced brushing “Dr. Marlo’s” teeth during a presentation by Krisi Caton of Sarrell Dental on Monday. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Kids in the YMCA summer program practiced brushing “Dr. Marlo’s” teeth during a presentation by Krisi Caton of Sarrell Dental on Monday. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The YMCA partnered with the Sarrell Dental Center in Clanton on Monday to help spread the word about proper teeth maintenance.

“They need to get into the routine of brushing every day,” said Krisi Caton, community outreach specialist with the Sarrell Dental Center. “A lot of times they don’t think about the fact that it can be very painful for them down the road if they don’t.”

The days can be less structured during the summer compared to the school year, which can cause any dental care routine to be in jeopardy of getting off course.

“The last thing on their mind during the summertime is brushing their teeth,” Caton said. “It’s important to remind them about it because they’re just focused on having a good time.”

According to Caton, Sarrell has attended events such as Peach Jam, the Swedish Festival in Thorsby, as well as summer reading programs and educational opportunities at the schools.

“We try to get involved with our community as often as we can,” Caton said.

Caton’s guest during Monday’s presentation was “Dr. Marlo,” a stuffed monkey, and a popular sidekick that appears at every Sarrell demonstration.

Each child was given the opportunity to come forward and take a turn brushing “Dr. Marlo’s” teeth.

“It draws their attention and it’s hands on,” Caton said. “It allows them to practice their technique instead of me just telling them what to do. It makes it a little more fun.”

Kids received goodie bags at the end of the presentation that contained materials promoting healthy teeth, such as toothpaste and floss.

During the presentation, Caton stressed the importance of brushing teeth for two minutes. She said that the best way to keep track of the time is to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” twice.

According to Caton, most of the groups are younger, but past shows have been performed for kids of any age group.

“You have to go with your gut instinct, because some kids want to sit there and look at a book all day and others just want to talk to “Dr. Marlo,” Caton said. “You have to treat it differently every single time.”

The Sarrell Dental Center is a non-profit company and therefore accepts all forms of insurance.

“Our mission is to serve the under-served,” Caton said. “I think it is very important for our community to experience events like this. We offer a little bit of everything.”

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