The statistics are grim: According to Healthy Smiles Hawaii, tooth decay among island keiki is significantly higher than children on the mainland U.S. In a 2/10 Pew Research study, Hawaii got an F on how well it is employing policy solutions to ensure dental health and access to care for children.
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 3-4 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). As an early childhood special ed teacher I have witnessed the effects (distractibility, inappropriate behavior, and school absences) of dental problems in young children.
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. I've gotten a dental hygiene teaching kit (Many thanks to a previous DC project!), and it is helping the kids improve their brushing technique and get over teeth brushing phobias--they love that big mouth. But brushing on the big mouth model doesn't clean their teeth--they need brushes to clean their teeth. 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.
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 toothbrushes to my students so they can get a start on a healthy dental habit.Read More
|OraLine Toddler Ladybug Toothbrushes • SmileMakers||$81.99||1||$81.99|
|OraLine Toddler Toothbrushes • SmileMakers||$69.99||1||$69.99|
|TOOTHBRUSH CHILD'S SET OF 72 • Abilitations, Inc.||$42.74||1||$42.74|
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