Submitted by Delta Dental of Washington.
The Tooth Fairy flew into Tacoma on Friday during National Health Education Week, stopping at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to teach kids about the importance of caring for their teeth at an early age.
The visit is part of a year-round statewide program – The Tooth Fairy Experience – presented free by Delta Dental of Washington. According to a statewide study, more than half of the state’s third graders have experienced some form of tooth decay. The new program is designed to help improve dental practices at an early age, in hopes of setting kids on a path for a lifetime of good oral health.
“Our zookeepers, who take great care of our animals’ teeth—from small beavers to giant walruses— look forward to comparing notes with the Tooth Fairy, who flew in today as part of The Tooth Fairy Experience. She was a big hit with our young guests talking about the importance of dental health and giving away toothbrushes,” said a Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium spokesperson.
During her visit the Tooth Fairy shared fun smile facts; assisted kids in practicing flossing techniques using Play-Doh, Duplo blocks and string; and took a spin on the carousel with her young fans. As part of The Tooth Fairy Experience launch week, the Tooth Fairy visited communities throughout western Washington reaching more than 500 kids with her message. Next week she travels to central and eastern Washington.
The Tooth Fairy Experience is an interactive presentation designed for kids 10 and under, which takes place in community centers, libraries, after-school programs and other public places where kids gather. Each presentation – tailored to the size of the group, age range and venue – lasts approximately 30 minutes and provides valuable knowledge about how kids can take better care of their smiles. The presentations, led by the Tooth Fairy, typically include fun smile facts, an age-appropriate dental-themed storybook reading, and hands-on educational activities such as dental bingo and flossing practice using Play-Doh and giant LEGO blocks, among others. Each child also has an opportunity to have their photo taken with the Tooth Fairy, and leaves with a new toothbrush.
The program also features a K-2 classroom component for educators, available for free download at the program website, www.TheToothFairyExperience.com. The classroom educational materials include a 12-minute video featuring the Tooth Fairy focused on caring for your smile, educator lesson plans and student worksheets. Over the next couple years additional videos and classroom materials will be developed to focus on the role of nutrition in good oral health, as well as the importance of physical activity – including the use of mouthguards in sports – in caring for your kids’ oral and overall health. All materials have been dentist, teacher, school nurse and child-reviewed.
The Tooth Fairy Experience website also provides helpful resources for parents and caregivers, with a dental tips blog, child dental health activity sheets for home use, a quarterly newsletter Grin & Grow, Tooth Fairy letters for children, and links to Delta Dental of Washington resources such help in finding a dentist. In addition, parents can follow the Tooth Fairy on her own Facebook and Instagram channels (@ToothFairyWA) for helpful tips and to learn where the Tooth Fairy will be visiting next.Print This Post