St. Mary's students get dental lesson

Friday, October 16, 2015
St. Mary's students dressed as teeth are Hayden Delozier -- preschool, and Jordan Radspinner -- fifth grade. Photo by Floyd Jernigan/Daily Mail

Nevada Daily Mail

A pair of fictional fairytale characters made an appearance at St. Mary's School Tuesday afternoon, interjecting infectious smiles and exuberant movements in teaching the youthful students how to preserve their teeth.

The lesson included proper brushing, and flossing techniques of the teeth, gums and tongue, as well as encouraging the use of mouthwash, all to help prevent cavities.

The pair was making the visit in their "dental mobile" with Delta Dental of Missouri.

"Tooth decay is the leading chronic infectious disease among children in our nation," noted a press release from the organization.

"It causes pain and can interfere with a child's ability to eat, speak, smile and concentrate, and has the potential to affect one's systemic health. To help combat this issue, Delta Dental of Missouri is educating and inspiring children to adopt healthy life habits through its upbeat and interactive, touring Land of SmilesŪ program.

"Thanks to the collaboration with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Preventive Services Program, the show now also underscores the importance of fluoride varnishes."

The 2015 tour made its most recent stop at St. Mary's School in Vernon County.

The performance featured Tooth WizardSM and his sister Tooth Fairy, in their ongoing crusade to help kids have healthy teeth.

Tooth Fairy explained to the students that night after night, she collects all of the baby teeth left under pillows and places them high into the night sky over the mythical Land of Smiles to make "beautiful twinkling stars."

Floyd Jernigan/Daily Mail St. Mary's students holding toothbrushes are Addison Wittock -- kindergarten, Mariska Buehler -- third grade, and Michael Kimmell -- first grade.

But, unhealthy teeth just drop back down to the ground. To prevent this from happening, the characters get the children excited about brushing and flossing properly and visiting Tooth Wizard's "best friend," the dentist. Some lucky volunteers got to dress up as teeth and helped Tooth Wizard demonstrate the art of cleaning between teeth with floss and rinsing with mouthwash, as they swished under a bucket full of streamers. The characters also discussed what foods are good and bad for teeth and overall health, as well as the importance of having fluoride varnishes applied to teeth and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Tooth Wizard and Tooth Fairy come bearing gifts for the students at the elementary schools they visit.

Each child is sent home with a "smile bag" from Delta Dental, packed with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, an educational coloring sheet and a mirror decal reminding them to brush at least twice daily.

After the show, the school receives a Healthy Smiles Toolkit that provides a curriculum guide with six lessons and activities teachers can use in the classroom to reinforce the oral health messages of the Land of Smiles show. The toolkit also includes a large mouth model and toothbrush, children's books, a sing-a-long CD and a Land of Smiles DVD.

"Our Land of Smiles characters really resonate with the kids, inspiring action and motivating change," commented Monica Green, manager of marketing and communications for Delta Dental of Missouri. "We added Tooth Fairy to our cast of characters last year and she was a big hit. Everyone knows her, but no one ever gets to spend time with her. The kids are always tickled to hear her story of why she collects teeth and how she uses the healthy ones."

Throughout the school year, two separate Land of Smiles casts will collectively reach more than 65,000 students at more than 320 schools across the state of Missouri.

Those interested in having the award-winning Land of Smiles program visit their child's school can have their child's teacher, principal or school nurse go to or call 888-383-0008.

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