Dr. Nina and Dr. Saba Visit with Kids at St. Andrew’s School in Romeoville
Earlier in February, in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month, Dr. Nina Arora and Dr. Saba Sheikh took the show on the road. The dentists made virtual visits to kids in 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-grade classes at St. Andrew’s Elementary in Romeoville to talk about dental health, alligator teeth, and more.
Dental Care 101: Kids Show Their Smarts
Joining the classrooms on video via Zoom, the dentists were able to interact directly with the kids in the three classes. Using a fun Q&A format, both Dr. Nina and Dr. Saba shared the basics, including:
How many teeth do people have?
This first question of the day proved the most challenging for all three classes. Guesses ranged from 15 to 40! The answer is in between: 32 adult teeth in total, including wisdom teeth.
Just for fun, the dentists also talked about how many teeth alligators have! Surprisingly, they have 80 teeth at a time, but a cool thing about alligators is that they can grow their teeth back over and over when they lose them. So alligators can have thousands of teeth over their lifetime! Humans aren’t as lucky. We only get one set. That’s why we have to be so careful to keep them healthy.
Why are our teeth so important?
The students were all over this one. With lots of hands raised and many variations on the correct answers, all three classrooms correctly identified the three big reasons our teeth are very important to us: eating, talking, and smiling! For bonus points, the fifth-grade class went a step farther, cleverly pointing out that healthy teeth contribute to overall health, and even heart health. That’s very true and very smart!
What are the best ways to take care of our teeth?
This one didn’t stump anyone. With lots of participation in all of the classrooms, the students were able to touch on all of the key areas of dental care, including:
- Eating and drinking healthy things like fruits, veggies, milk, and water and avoiding (or at least reducing) sweet and sticky things like juices, soda pop, and candy.
- Brushing and flossing teeth and gums correctly for two minutes twice a day, plus rinsing with mouthwash if desired.
- Visiting the dentist twice a year to get teeth cleaned and checked for cavities.
For more details, check out our infographic shared last month!
Never a Doubt: Kids are Curious and Ambitious
Dr. Nina and Dr. Saba weren’t the only ones asking the questions! The students asked many questions and even shared some ideas of their own. Here are some of the things the kids brought up for discussion with the dentists:
Can you use toothpicks to brush your teeth?
It might sound easy, but in fact it’s not the best idea. Toothpicks can give you splinters, poke your gums, or get stuck between your teeth themselves. It’s better to stick with the right equipment: a good soft-bristle toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and dental floss.
How do you brush your teeth with braces?
Very carefully! Your dentist will give you special tools and advice for cleaning your teeth and braces if and when you get them. There are also other ways to straighten your teeth and align your bite, like Invisalign clear orthodontics, which allows you to brush as usual.
What are teeth made of and how do they grow?
This is a pretty advanced question! Teeth are made of three layers. On the outside, the white part that we can see is enamel. Below that is a middle layer called dentin. And way inside in the very center of the tooth is a nerve. That’s what you feel if you have a toothache. Each tooth starts as a tooth bud, which is actually the top part of the tooth. The root grows downward from there, pushing the top part up until it’s fully grown into your mouth.
How long does it take to become a dentist?
A few of the students in different classes asked this question, and a few even said they might want to become a dentist! To become a dentist, after high school you first have to go to college for four years and then go to dental school for another four years. Finally, you take a test to get certified, and then you are a dentist. It’s all worth it for the chance to help people have healthy smiles!
We hope you know you don’t have to wait for a classroom visit or even your appointment to ask us questions. You can contact us anytime, and we’d be happy to discuss it with you on the phone.
To schedule your visit now, fill out this form, or call our office at 815-886-0875.