Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, but images are great for empowering, implanting and enhancing memory.
Showing them microscopic images of the “bad bugs / bacteria” that live in your mouth resulted in many wrinkled faces and gasps with all age levels. Every bit of information was building upon itself for the climactic ending that I will share in a second.
After doing a quick review on brushing, when to change your toothbrush and how to clean your toothbrush, because it too harbors these bad bugs after brushing, we covered the how and why we should be flossing, because every part of the tooth doesn’t get clean by just brushing. Two volunteers performed live demonstration of the two front teeth and Zachery using his arms to show how not to floss and how to floss.
At the very end we did an activity. I had them chew Red Cote tablets for 30 seconds and had them spit it out. They then were to return to the classroom to receive an explanation on the purpose of that tablet. An image was showed to them and an explanation as to what your teeth should look like if you had brushed well and what they would look like if they had not. It was truly fun to see them laughing and smiling at each other with red mouths and teeth.
Word spread quickly after the first class about the Red Cote tablets. It was wonderful to see my class fill up quickly and not seem like “pulling teeth” to get them there. No pun intended.
After explaining the picture to them, we encouraged them to run to the bathroom and look in the mirror, then finish brushing their teeth where they had missed. They did just that. I should clarify that the younger girls were all smiles and giggling, but the older girls didn’t want to open their mouths. When Les went to the area where the girls living area is, there were all kinds of girls grabbing their toothbrushes to do a better job.
Three of the house mothers were able to attend, but the others were busy preparing food. They had heard news about the class and wanted their own Red Coat Tablets. I said I would arrange for a class with them another time and I would hand them their own.