Pulaski County Youth Services
From the #deltadentalARFoundation: From the #DeltaDentalARFoundation: Mix some coconut oil with calcium carbonate, add a pinch of this and that, sweeten with Xylitol and two dozen kids, and you get “amazing stuff.”
The setting was a classroom at Daisy Bates Elementary School in Little Rock.
On this particular Friday afternoon, the 24 K-5 students enrolled in the afterschool program run by Pulaski County Youth Services learned how to make DIY toothpaste.
The hour-long project was part of an ongoing oral health education series, funded in part by a #communitygrant from the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation.
But before they started measuring and stirring, the youngsters reviewed brushing-and-flossing basics.
No question—they knew their stuff.
“Brush, floss, rinse and don’t forget to brush your tongue,” they recited almost in unison.
Teaching the students good oral hygiene serves a dual purpose, noted Sarah Bradbury, program development specialist at PCYS.
“It is our belief that if we encourage and reinforce healthy habits in the youth, they will not only maintain them but serve as unspoken ambassadors within their own homes as they lead by example,” she said.
The oral health education they receive in the afterschool sessions is designed to serve as a “catalyst for the entire family’s oral health care,” Sarah elaborated.
On this Friday afternoon, the students might not have been aware of their potential as change agents.
They were preoccupied with the taste of their toothpaste.
At first, they wrinkled their noses at the anise oil added as flavor. But in the end, when everything was smooth and shiny and packed in little pouches to take home, “this stuff tastes amazing,” exclaimed one 3rd-grader with approval.
We love oral health education that tastes amazing! Does your non-profit organization or school have a yummy project to brighten the smiles of Arkansans? Let us help you. Apply for a Foundation grant today. Find out more here.