More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
Clean Teeth & Healthy Smiles
My students need toothbrushes, a toothbrush storage unit and a dental game to reinforce dental hygiene lessons.
"Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. The need for continuous dental health education in Hawaii, especially among children, is essential." Healthy Smiles Hawaii.
Aloha from na keiki o Hawai'i.
My preschool special education class provides early intervention services to qualifying special needs children. My class size ranges between 6-8 students, ages 3-5 years. My school is located in a predominantly rural, low-income neighborhood with a considerable portion of the children of Hawaiian and/or Pacific Island ancestry.
Sadly, these are the populations that are statistically less likely to have visited a dentist by the age of 9, yet are most affected by Baby Bottle Tooth Decay for example, which is 20.79% in Native Hawaiian and 32.19% in Filipino populations compared to 5% for U.S. mainland five-year-olds. (per Health Smiles Hawaii).
I have witnessed the effects (distractibility, inappropriate behavior, and absences) of dental problems in my students.
I want to supply my students with age-appropriate toothbrushes for our daily post-lunch brushing activity (We have songs, games and brush to tunes--it's quite fun!) and make a dent in those statistics by helping my students develop the brushing habit.
Often when parents do send in brushes, they are the adult size econo-pack because that's what's affordable. However those big brushes are cumbersome for little hands and not the proper fit for small mouths and baby teeth. Other students have brought in used brushes from home (which has left me wondering if they have another brush at home). Some keiki gnaw through toothbrushes so they need replacing more frequently than is affordable.
In addition to the brushes, I need a proper hygienic holder with a cover--a long overdue acquisition. To reinforce the learning in a fun way, and perhaps inspire a future dentist, I would like to add the play dough dental kit to our activity center.
We present ourselves to others with our smiles, but more importantly we use our teeth to eat and form sounds for speech.
Help me provide these much needed dental supplies and activity to my students so they can get a start on a healthy dental habit.
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