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Dentist speaks to CUMC pre-k class

Dr. James Williams of Turkey Creek Dental visited Concord United Methodist Church’s pre-kindergarten class Friday, Feb. 5, for a lesson on tooth care.

“I’m a dentist. I brush teeth. I hope you take care of your teeth,” Williams told the class, of which his son Camden is a member, as introduction.

“I have a loose tooth already,” one class member informed Williams.

Williams told the class many of them could expect to lose teeth in coming years as each person’s 20 baby teeth gives way to 32 adult teeth.

“The tooth fairy picks it out of your pillow and takes it back to where the tooth fairy belongs … and leaves you a dollar,” Jonathan Cate said.

“My sister got a little bit of fairy dust on her,” Molly Hawk added.

“If your tooth is loose and hurts, the best thing to do is rest,” Cate informed Williams.

Williams agreed, adding teeth liked it when we eat healthy foods and when we brush them.

“It’s like a bath for your teeth,” Williams said.

One child informed Williams he got “skunk teeth” when he didn’t brush.

Williams asked how each child brushed his teeth, then passed around toothbrushes and a model of a mouth and a stuffed Nemo fish, complete with a set of chompers, for the children to practice with.

Do you use a lot of toothpaste or just a little? Williams asked.

“It won’t fit in your mouth” if you have too much, a child answered.

How many times a day should you brush your teeth?

One response was “250,000,” although the general consensus was twice a day.

“Do you ever get kind of fuzzy, slimy teeth?” Williams asked, pointing out the problems with plaque.

“Like the Grinch!” the children cried.

“Exactly,” Williams agreed.

The pre-kindergarteners pointed out teeth-healthy foods on a chart, including apples, oranges, carrots, broccoli and milk.

“If you eat candy, you get smaller like a baby,” Cate said.

Williams led discussion on the importance of teeth, pointing out everyone needs teeth to eat, to talk and to sing.

One child said teeth were necessary to bite. Another informed Williams her sister often bit her.

“What are teeth like?” Williams asked.

He received responses of “white,” “hard” and “strong.”

“If it wasn’t hard, you couldn’t even crunch pretzels,” Cate said.

Finally, Williams asked the children if they ever had been to a dentist, querying if the dentist had a small mirror, gloves and a face mask.

“That’s so they don’t smell your stinky breath,” Hawk said.

“Well, yeah. But that’s a secret,” Williams joked.

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