18 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
5. Teach Something People Can Do Right Away
It is good to tell a mother to keep her child’s teeth clean, but it is
better to show her how to do it. She will remember how if she actually
watches you clean her child’s teeth.
An even better way for a mother to learn is to let her clean her child’s
teeth while you watch. A person discovers something for herself
when she does it herself.
Pick out a child and clean his teeth yourself.
Let his mother watch.
Use a soft brush (or for a baby, a clean cloth).
Gently but quickly brush or wipe his teeth.
Do the best you can even if he cries.
If mothers make this into a habit, the child will
expect to have his teeth cleaned and will soon
cooperate—just the way he does to bathe or
to have lice removed from his hair.
Now let each mother clean her
own child’s teeth. Teach her to
clean on top and on both sides
of every tooth.
Ask her to do the same at home
each day. At the next clinic, look
at the children’s teeth and see
how well the mothers are doing.
Give further help when needed.
Always praise and encourage
those who are doing well.