Sailors from US Naval Hospital Guam Promote Oral Health at MEMS

Sailors from US Naval Hospital Guam Promote Oral Health at MEMS

Sailors from U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam’s Dental Clinic held a dental health presentation for third-graders at Cmdr. William C. McCool Elementary/Middle School in Santa Rita, Guam Feb. 15.

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, and every year USNH visits the school to instruct students on proper oral hygiene.

Third-grade teacher Neal Kranz appreciated the presentation, which taught students ways to properly maintain oral hygiene.

It’s a lot of fun for the kids; they really enjoy it,” he said. “They love it because the kids get to hold the brushes and practice brushing techniques.”

Though the presentation is not usually geared specifically toward third-graders, this year USNH Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Shivonne Willoughby decided to focus specifically on that age group. This is the age when children are most likely to comprehend the importance of oral hygiene.

“We really wanted to drive that home,” she said. “We covered how to brush, when to brush, what kind of foods can give you cavities, [and the importance of] just try[ing] to establish routines that they should be doing to help their teeth.”

Willoughby emphasized the importance of oral health’s impact on overall health.

“Oral health is connected to your health,” she said. “People think of their mouth separately, but oral health is very important and it contributes greatly to your overall health. I just want the kids to be making better choices for their teeth, and it ultimately leads to better choices.”

Kranz echoed Willoughby’s sentiments and hoped students learned from the event to maintain great smiles and healthy gums.

“It’s just about building good habits for the kids,” Kranz said. “Teaching them what’s expected and what’s good for them and, hopefully, they can take it and incorporate it in their lives.”

Naval Today Staff , February 23, 2012; Image: navy