In her efforts to ensure all children have access to a healthy smile, with no one left behind, the Tooth Fairy is incorporating sign language into videos aimed at teaching kids important lessons on caring for their smiles.
In the videos, debuting this week in recognition of National American Sign Language Day, the Tooth Fairy is joined by an ASL interpreter as a way to connect with deaf and hard of hearing students in K-2 classrooms — as part of The Tooth Fairy Experience, a statewide youth dental health education program presented free by Delta Dental of Washington in partnership with the School Nurse Organization of Washington.
The interpreter has been incorporated with the Tooth Fairy into a video reading of a storybook — The Clean Teeth Club: A Tooth Fairy Tale — and a downloadable classroom educational presentation video, Caring for your Smile. Both the storybook and classroom presentation videos teach students about the importance of their teeth and how to care for their smiles.
“It’s important to make our materials accessible to everyone and that includes the deaf and hard of hearing community,” said Delta Dental of Washington spokesperson Kristi Ellefson. ASL will also be utilized in all future storybook and classroom videos, as The Tooth Fairy Experience continues to explore new ways to make programs as accessible as possible for all students.
With more than half of the state’s third graders having experienced tooth decay, The Tooth Fairy Experience launched in late 2019 to help improve dental habits at an early age in an effort to reduce the incidence of tooth decay among children and increase the number of kids who regularly visit the dentist.
The Tooth Fairy Experience is a fun and interactive program led by a diverse team of tooth fairies, both in-person and virtually. The presentations, designed for K-2 students, typically include fun smile facts, proper brushing and flossing techniques, the importance of regular trips to the dentists, an age-appropriate dental-themed storybook reading, and science projects showcasing the implications of sugar on teeth.
You can learn more about The Tooth Fairy Experience at www.TheToothFairyExperience.com, as well as on Facebook and Instagram, @ToothFairyWA.