Girard schools participated in a variety of activities in February to recognize Dental Health Month, including dental screenings, class discussions, and creative activities.

Girard schools participated in a variety of activities in February to recognize Dental Health Month, including dental screenings, class discussions, and creative activities.

Students from all Girard schools were eligible for free dental health care screenings through the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Dental Clinic Feb.1-2.

Screenings for Haderlein Elementary students were held Feb. 1 while those for GMS and GHS students were held Feb. 2.

Four dental hygienists and a dentist from the CHCSER completed the screenings, and students were called by grade level to participate.

Those who participated in the clinic received a free toothbrush and recommendations regarding further screening, which varied from no problems detected to restorative care needed.

According to USD 248 Nurse Bobbi Mahnken, 70 percent of the student population participated in screenings, and 32 percent of RVH, 17 percent of GMS, and 7 percent of GHS students signed up for the preventative treatment options available.

Regarding the screenings, Nurse Mahnken said, “USD 248 is required by Kansas statutes to provide annual dental inspections for all children attending school. The CHCSEK Dental Clinic allows us to meet this requirement by furnishing these oral health screenings. I appreciate their time and am thankful for the preventative dental services they offer to our families.”

To continue teaching students about dental health, representatives from Dr. Paoni’s dental office visited with first graders about how to take care of their teeth.

Regarding the visit, Nurse Mahnken added, “To celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month, dental hygienist Tiffany Seibert and dental assistant Tracy Bailey from Dr. Paoni’s dental office, visited with our first grade students. They provided some fun trivia about teeth and furnished the students with toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“It is wonderful to have dental health professionals visit our building. They reinforce dental health lessons being taught by our teachers.”

First graders at RVH also participated in a dental health unit, participating in 20-minute lessons to reinforce the information learned throughout Dental Health Month.

They learned about good and bad things to eat and made charts titled “Dental Do’s and Don’ts” that included pictures of food items that were both beneficial and harmful for teeth.

First grader Hailey Schettler said, “I learned to brush my teeth to prevent cavities and that sharks grow new teeth when they lose them.”

Kaleb Scales added, “Cave men didn’t have cavities because they didn’t eat sugar.”

First graders also learned the steps to brushing teeth, from placing toothpaste on the toothbrush to flossing, how many times a day they should brush their teeth, and specific times they should.

“I learned that some people use baking soda to brush their teeth,” first grader Gracie Peterson said.