With more than half of the state’s third graders having experienced tooth decay (43% in King County), the Tooth Fairy is canvassing the state – virtually – during National Children’s Dental Health Month to help improve the dental health habits of her young friends, in hopes of a cavity-free Washington.
“Children who experience tooth decay are more likely to miss school, have lower academic success, and experience nutritional and speech development issues,” according to Dr. LeRoy Horton, an affiliate instructor at UW School of Dentistry and a Delta Dental member dentist. “It’s really unacceptable that more than half of our state’s third graders have experienced tooth decay, and nearly a quarter of which is untreated. These numbers are even higher in many rural and BIPOC communities.”
In response, the Tooth Fairy is celebrating the month with her interactive pediatric dental health education program, The Tooth Fairy Experience, designed to make dental health education fun.
The free 30-minute virtual presentations with K-2 classrooms and community-based organizations are customized for each learning environment – including a storybook reading, fun teeth facts, proper brushing techniques, tooth science experiment, dental health hand puppets and a sugar demonstration – aimed to improve dental health behaviors of kids as they enter their cavity-prone years and to spur regular dental exams – which were down 22 percent last year for 5-10-year-olds living in King County according to claims data from the state’s largest dental benefits provider.
Throughout the month, the Tooth Fairy will be conducting virtual interactive classroom presentations across the state, as well as appearances at the following Seattle area public events culminating with National Tooth Fairy Day (Feb. 28):
Northwest African American Museum’s Knowledge is Power: Books & Brushes Giveaway (with the Tooth Fairy)
Time: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 24
Location: Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle
To request a virtual presentation for your K-2 classroom or youth organization, simply complete the online request form.
For those unable to participate in one of the Tooth Fairy events, check out the Tooth Fairy’s very own website (www.TheToothFairyExperience.com) with free downloadable videos, digital storybooks and other learning materials for teacher download and home-use – as well as a full library of helpful resources and tips for parents.
The Tooth Fairy Experience, developed by Delta Dental of Washington in partnership with the Arcora Foundation and School Nurse Organization of Washington.
West Seattle, Washington