Day at the dentist

MILL HALL-Kids smiling in dentist chairs. It’s not a sight one normally sees, but at Saturday’s Children’s Health Day at the Clinton County Community Dental Clinic, it was more like a fun field day than a dreaded dentist visit.

Siblings Stevie, Michael and Miriam Fisher of Mill Hall thought it was a blast. As Stevie, 6, sat in the dentist chair, Penn College dental hygiene seniors Rachel Craig and Tori Smith used the bright green plush Mr. Dino (full name Mr. Dinosaur) to demonstrate how to brush one’s teeth and floss.

Stevie chomped Mr. Dino’s big, bright – and very straight – teeth together and asked a question a minute as Michael, 4, sat on the stool next to him, swinging his legs. Tori showed them how to floss and brush correctly. She told him how his big boy teeth will come in after he loses his baby teeth.

“Just like Mr. Dino’s teeth?” Stevie asked.

“Yes, nice and big,” Tori replied.

Stevie explained they do have floss at home, and described in great detail what his floss container looks like, the length of floss he uses and precisely how he flosses.

Afterward, Tori gave the boys some chapstick with SPF to protect their lips, and told them that using SPF protection is important because the lips are a high-risk area. Stevie and Michael added the mini chapsticks to their bag of goodies, filled with toothbrushes, flossers, toothpaste and more.

The Fishers’ family friend, Tasha Long, brought them and another child, Ellie, to the clinic that day.

“It’s like Halloween,” Tasha exclaimed as the kids excitedly dug around in their goodie bags.

“Except it’s good for your teeth,” jumped in Brittany Peterson, a senior dental hygiene student at Penn College.

Stevie was more than happy to indulge an interviewer to share what he learned.

“I learned it’s important to floss when you get your older teeth,” he said. And, since he and his siblings play a lot outside at their Amish farm, he’ll definitely wear his new chapstick, he said.

Though Tasha now works as an interior designer, she had gone to school to be a dental hygienist, and recognizes the value of good dental health.

“It’s important to teach good dental health early in life,” she said.

For the full story, please see today’s print edition of The Express.