LINGLE – Mixing good health with a bit of good fun, and wearing brightly-colored wigs, a crew from a Torrington dental practice has been working their way through schools in Goshen County, preaching the importance of good dental hygiene.
In conjunction with Children’s Dental Health Month in February, dental hygienists Cara Lawrence and Tara Rutt and dental assistant Kristie Sierra brought their message to the kindergarten and first grade classes at Lingle-Fort Laramie Elementary School here last week. It’s a message Ms. Lawrence has been sharing for 40 years.
And it’s all about getting the kids while they’re young, she said.
“Years ago, we started talking to fourth and fifth graders,” Ms. Lawrence said. “With everything in education now, children are exposed to information at a much younger age.
“We were finding that children had already developed their dental habits before they were fourth graders,” she said. “In order for them to understand the necessity for good daily care and, particularly, for good nutrition, it’s important to get them started when they’re very young.”
According to a study by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, in Rochester, Minn., poor oral health may be linked to a host of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart. Severe gum infections, or periodontitis, have also been linked to premature birth and low birth weight in infants.
The beauty of the local program is it’s not just a lecture, Lawrence said. The group tries to make it fun to appeal to the young minds of their listeners.