This was a media coverage event for a Colgate tour bus teaching kids how to have healthy teeth.
Saturday I took a very long trip down to Sebastian, Florida (about 2 1/2 hours from me!) to visit the Colgate Dental Mobile! Colgate is touring all over the US (I will post a schedule later!) at your local Walmart, and offering free dental exams for children 1-12 years old.
A dentist will check out your child’s teeth, suggest any care needed, and your kids will receive a goody bag!
Inside the mobile are two dental chairs, and lots of wonderfully bright cartoons on the wall! Many children are frightened when they visit a dentist- especially for the first time.
I love how Colgate has decorated their portable dental room with bright colors, a TV for the kids to watch a show about healthy teeth, and hands-on stations for the kids to learn and touch while they are there!
When the families first walk into the mobile (at our location) they are greeted by Cristiane (she’s coordinating everything) and Dr. Ragone from Indian Creek Dental. They were fantastic with the children and really helped them to feel at ease.
Sadly I did not bring my kids with me because of the long drive, but I really wanted to and know that they would have loved it! Below you can see the mascot for the Colgate #BuildingSmiles tour! Their goal? Encouraging children to learn young how to properly care for their teeth and keep those healthy habits for a lifetime!
In addition to touring the country in your local Walmart parking lot, the #BuildingSmiles tour will also soon be touring at summer camps and local schools as well!
Dr. Ragone did a great job of engaging the children when they climbed up into the dentist chair. He showed them his bright light, then he let the kids check his teeth before he took a look at theirs! Even the very young toddlers who were scared ended up showing Dr. Ragone their teeth.
These kids did a great job during their dental exam! OPEN WIDE!
On the countertops in the mobile were several baskets of plastic fruits and veggies, as well as several posters on the wall. The kids could guess what each different food was, and see good nutritious options for them to eat.
I loved that the kids could pick up the fruits and veggies. I know my kids are forever looking to touch anything and everything when they go somewhere new!
Next to the baskets of play food was also this big mouth (my personal favorite!). What a fun way for kids to practice brushing and flossing while they were there! To be honest this would be a fun item to have at home so your younger children especially could practice brushing too!
This is my friend Barb from FL Mom’s blog – she had a lot of fun practicing brushing this large mouth too!
I loved this Anatomy of a Tooth plaque (no pun intended!) because not only can children and their parents learn about the parts of a healthy tooth, but you can also see the progression of cavities in unhealthy teeth. Talking to Cristiane was such a learning experience for me.
I knew cavities were obviously bad to get and I knew they can cause serious damage- but did you know that people actually die from cavities? She told me the story of a family they had met last year who couldn’t afford dental care. A mother with her two sons.
So the mother saved her pennies and could afford to take one child at a time, so she chose her little one first to try and start him off right with dental care. Her oldest, she didn’t know, had a cavity. After a progression of time the child’s cavity got so bad that it decayed, and an infection seeped into his bloodstream and the child died! From a cavity that could have prevented with simple dental care! It was so sad!
There was another lady that stopped by their dental mobile, about in her 60’s, who thanked the staff for touring and teaching children about healthy dental care. Half of her face was completely paralyzed due to uncared for tooth decay that spread into her nerves.
Sadly these stories are not uncommon. Many people to not practice or cannot afford to practice good hygiene or get regular checkups. Many children visit the dental mobile and are absolutely thrilled to get their own toothbrush!
Why? Because their family only has one toothbrush and they all share. I know some teachers in Title 1 schools that even put brand new toothbrushes in their reward boxes- and it’s the favored reward for the kids to actually have their own toothbrush!
I learned so much by stopping by the Colgate dental mobile! I make sure both of my kids, 2 and 4 years old brush their teeth everyday. In fact I started brushing my kids teeth as soon as they surfaced to get them used to it! This may have, however, contributed to the fact that my children now hoard toothbrushes!
Seriously, I have to sneak them and throw them in the trash because the kids take them all over the place. Each of my boys must have several toothbrushes depending on their mood of the day. Spinning brushes, plain ones, character ones, singing ones-it’s crazy!
But I am glad that I have instilled in them to brush their teeth from an early age. Sometimes that is still not good enough. Cavities can be genetic, as is the case with our youngest son. He had 2 cavities before he turned 2 years old, and his teeth were brushed twice a day from 6 months on. I am hoping that my youngest will be like me- and to this day I’ve never had a cavity!
Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #CollectiveBias. All opinions are 100% mine.