CATEC Students Teach Cville Third-Graders about Dental Hygiene - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

CATEC Students Teach Cville Third-Graders about Dental Hygiene

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Students at Clark Elementary School in Charlottesville learned how to keep their smiles pearly white Friday as part of a dental education program called “Give Kids a Smile.”

The event was sponsored by CATEC's dental assistant program. Dental students led several stations, teaching third-graders about good brushing habits and cleaning their teeth.

CATEC instructor Pat Tisdell, who organized event, says hands-on experience is often more beneficial than classroom instruction.

"This is just another opportunity for them to put the book work in their own hands, for them to actually communicate with a patient, large or small, and for them to work with other healthcare professionals," Tisdell said.

CATEC and University of Virginia dental students helped instruct the third-graders on good dental hygiene. Then they worked with professional dentists to clean teeth and apply fluoride.

"Good habits always start when they're like really, really little because if you get it down when you're like 6 or 7, you've got that for the rest of your life. So learning how to brush your teeth and floss at this age is really, really important,” said Eleanor Myer, a CATEC dental assistant student.

The elementary students say they learned quite a bit.

"Today I learned that if you smoke you will, your teeth will fall out and it's not good for you,” said third-grade student Dania Alazzawe.

CATEC students say, besides gaining hands-on experience, they're happy to provide the service.

Give Kids a Smile is a national program sponsored by the American Dental Association. There have been more than 1,500 of these events nationwide.

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