DuBOIS — On Saturday, the 8th District Dental Society of the Pennsylvania Dental Association will sponsor a dental health fair in DuBois to highlight National Children’s’ Dental Health Month.
“We are looking for a way to impact the youngest of our dental patients and help them develop healthy dental habits through the education process of not only them but their parents and guardians,” said Shirley Morgan, a registered dental hygienist working for Dr. Jonathan Cole in DuBois. His office staff is coordinating the event, paid for by the 8th District, along with help from other area dental offices.
“I look at this as a celebration of children but education that will impact any age group in a way that will allow them to improve the health of their teeth and smile,” said Morgan.
Morgan said mounting research has linked dental health to general health so “if we can improve dental health we can improve general health.”
The health fair will be from 10 a.m.-noon at the Parkside Community Center, 120 W. Park Ave., DuBois. Sponsors will distribute, free of charge, dental hygiene kits that include a toothbrush, dental floss, fluoridated toothpaste and ACT fluoride rinse.
“Germs are the target and sugar is the enemy so we will use colorful table top educational displays to help people realize what they are eating and drinking and how it will impact their teeth as well as their bodies,” said Morgan.
For example, one 12 ounce soda contains 11 teaspoons of sugar.
“When you think about how much sugar that is that a child consumes in one soda it is rather alarming,” she said. “In addition, the American Heart Association’s new recommendations state that children should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day to stay healthy.”
In addition to colorful education on sugar, there will also be displays on brushing, flossing, fluoride, healthy snacks, acid exposure, dental sealants, traumatic dental injuries and the need for mouth guards for protection, orthodontics, and orofacial myofunctional disorders.
Professional fluoride varnish treatments will also be available for application. The professional fluoride varnishes have 22,600 parts per million fluoride ion but the children do not ingest any of it as the varnish sets in saliva where it is painted so no ingestion occurs. They have been linked to a 68 percent reduction in cavities with twice a year application and are so safe and effective that they are often applied during well baby visits.
Along with the education, they will splash in some fun. There will be stickers, removable tattoos, face painting, balloons and a color station. The tooth fairy will be present for photo opportunities and they will raffle off two Sonicare toothbrushes donated by Philips Sonicare.
Many of the local dentists and their staff will be present to encourage the public to make a change in their dental health and impact their general health.