School Activities for Learning
About Teeth and Gums
We can help school children in two ways. First, they need treatment now
for problems they already have. Second, they need to learn how to prevent
problems from hurting them (and their families) later.
Treatment and prevention go together. It is a mistake to emphasize only
prevention and to forget about treatment. In fact, early treatment is the
first step to prevention because it usually meets a person’s most
strongly felt, immediate need.
As a community dental worker, you can visit a school and find out what the
felt needs are. Begin with the teacher. Examine for cavities, bleeding gums,
or other problems. Then look at the students.
Chapter 6 tells you how to examine a person. It also helps you decide what
treatment to give, and who should give it.
Then teach how to prevent dental problems. Give the teacher ideas to
help students learn why they have problems, and how to keep the problems
from returning. The best way to learn is by doing—through activities, not
lectures. This chapter has many suggestions for activities.
The best health practice is to prevent cavities and gum disease from even
starting. With these activities, children can do something to guard their health.
Teacher, each day at school:
students to eat
kinds of food.
to clean their