The Internal Toothbrush
It is my opinion that knowledge is empowering, and if there is a way to share even difficult to understand subjects, one should try. This is why I like using pictures. These pictures are incredibly valuable teaching tool to help explain these difficult concepts, especially very helpful for my younger audience. No matter what age, I think that all ages appreciate and benefit from this style of teaching.
I began with a summary of the past classes and shared that we know about the external toothbrush. But I said there is another toothbrush to know about. It is called the Internal Toothbrush which is just as important as the external one or maybe even more important.
So yes, you guessed it, I talked about the tooth anatomy and that our teeth are living and hungry, so they need nutrition just like the rest of our body does.
Using a straw as a model, I described how each tooth has thousands of straw like tubes that feed our teeth nutrition from the foods and drinks that we consume. I showed pictures of these tubes inside of the tooth. How it works is like tree and its root system. The tree is fed by the water and soil nutrients by sucking the nutrients up through the roots “straws” to feed it to be healthy. The right nutrition creates the right conditions for health. The “straws” in the teeth do the same thing so we can feed our teeth and give them health.
Now here is where I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share about nutrition. After all, that is my specialty. I talked about the kinds of foods that our teeth need and the kinds that our teeth have a difficult time staying healthy with. This included showing pictures of processed foods and drinks that contain sugar in them and how sugar feeds all the bad bugs in our mouth. Also included were pictures that showed the right foods and how they help the teeth, because those foods have the vitamins and mineral nutrients in them that the teeth need to stay healthy. I encouraged them by saying that Haiti is a special place even though it is very tiny dot on the world map. God has given them many gifts, two of them include Moringa and Cacao Chocolate, which are both trees that grow in Haiti and I thought that they should use these gifts that God gave them.
In conclusion, I did a scientific experiment which included two eggs, coke, and vinegar. I explained that the eggs represented our teeth because our teeth are made of the same minerals as the egg shell. After I poured the coke and the vinegar in each glass and I walked around the room showing them all the bubbles. I told them that these bubbles were acid that was eating the egg shell which represented the outer enamel layer of their tooth. I dismissed the class saying that I would conclude the experiment by showing them at Monday Night Bible Study what happens to the eggs
Well, Monday Night Bible Study rolled around and a number of the little girls were relaxing on a trampoline in their recreation area said, “Do you have the eggs?” Girls of every age were sitting in the centralized gazebo living area said, “Where are the eggs?” Hahaha, they were excited, but I said after the Bible Study, I would show them. I was hoping they would be able to concentrate on the Bible study. They did just fine. At the right time, I brought out the eggs. I took a toothbrush and put toothpaste on it and started brushing the egg with the coke stain just like you would to brush your teeth to show them that it is important to brush long enough (at least 2 minutes softly) and that brushing regularly to help keep the teeth white and remove the sugars that the bad bugs like is important. Then I got out the egg soaked in vinegar and gave each of the girls that wanted to a chance to touch the vinegar egg. Exclamations, wows, gasping, all explain their reactions. Some even seemed a little nervous touching the egg. I traveled around the gazebo to different groups showing how the egg was rubbery and could now bounce because it was soft and rubbery. In showing the final group how it bounced a few times, the egg finally broke. I explained this experiment shows us how acid can destroy and damage teeth.
I was very pleased with the overall receptivity and reaction of the girls. Between helpful pictures and a few simple experimental items, this took what could have been a boring and difficult presentation into an enjoyable learning experience.
May I encourage you to use your internal toothbrush to create a healthy smile. I think you will be glad you if you do, because “A healthy smile is a beautiful smile.”