Colorful Smiles

Lamprey Health Care’s School-Based Dental Program is gearing up for Children’s Dental Health Awareness month with its annual coloring contest. Students in the schools, as well as pediatric patients at the health centers, are encouraged to show off their creativity by creating posters on dental health. We asked our Dental Hygienist, Bonnie Greaney, to explain more about this fun event.

What is the goal of the contest?

Our goal is to involve our pediatric patients in a fun oral health / dental health activity. Engaging kids in their daily health can only help them learn more.

What instructions are the children given?

Kids in kindergarten and first grade receive posters to color. We encourage them to use their best coloring skills and get creative. Kids in grades two through eight are encouraged to create their poster with a dental theme using their imagination and dental health knowledge. This year’s theme is “fluoride in the water prevents cavities.”

At the health centers, pediatric patients are given posters to color when they check-in at their appointment. When the contest closes, Lamprey Health Care staff at each site casts their vote.

What types of posters do you typically see?

We see a variety of posters from all age groups, and they’re all wonderful examples of the kid’s creativity. In terms of determining contest winners, we are looking for posters that include the theme, creativity, reflects a focus on an oral health task and shows effort was put into the project.

How do the children respond to the activity?

The students and pediatric patients get so excited. Many of them take it very seriously. You can see their fun sides and competitive sides come out. The students are always thrilled to see the winners. Of course, the winners love the ribbons, prizes, and getting their photos taken at the end.

 Shifting gears a bit, tell us about the Tots & Teeth Program?

As soon as the baby’s first tooth comes through, they need dental care. This is when parents/guardians should schedule their first dental screening, which is what our Tots & Teeth Program offers. Children receive oral health screening services, cavity risk assessment, a review of healthy nutrition, and proper infant/toddler dental care techniques. The Tots & Teeth staff spend time teaching parents how to care for infant and toddler teeth. No referrals are needed for the program. Simply ask to schedule a Tots & Teeth appointment.

Children should have regular screening appointments until they are ready to be referred to a dentist’s office. At that time, they will receive a dental exam, x-rays, and cleanings. Your primary care provider can also request a Tots & Teeth appointment if an older child is unable to access routine dental care.

Who is eligible for Tots & Teeth?

This service is available to all Lamprey Health Care pediatric patients ages 1 to 3 years old. The program is also available to children ages 4 to 18 if they have not had dental care in the past twelve months. Our main goal is to ensure all pediatric patients are taken care of from head to toe.

A healthy mouth equals a healthy body. If you have teeth, then you should be getting professional dental care. Also, stay tuned for the winners of this year’s upcoming coloring contest!

Visit our Wellness and Support Services page for more information on the Tots & Teeth Program and the School-Based Dental Program.