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21 MDS dental assistants visit CDC

Senior Airman Megan Luscier, 21st Medical Squadron dental assistant, reads to children Feb. 28, 2014, at the Schriever Air Force Base Child Development Center. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and 21 MDS dental assistants visit the CDC each year to teach children about healthy eating habits for good dental hygiene, brushing and flossing techniques and what they can expect when they arrive at a dentist’s office. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Airman Megan Luscier, 21st Medical Squadron dental assistant, reads to children Feb. 28, 2014, at the Schriever Air Force Base Child Development Center. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and 21 MDS dental assistants visit the CDC each year to teach children about healthy eating habits for good dental hygiene, brushing and flossing techniques and what they can expect when they arrive at a dentist’s office. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Senior Airman Megan Luscier had a captive audience as she read a story Feb. 28 at the Schriever Child Development Center.

The 21st Medical Squadron dental assistant rhymed and alliterated while a group of pre-schoolers huddled around her. She turned the pages in a slow, deliberate fashion making sure to enunciate each word.

The book covered the topic of teeth, why animals and humans have teeth and most importantly, how to care for them.

"We visit the Schriever Child Development Center every February for National Children's Dental Health Month," Luscier said. "We like doing it and the kids have a great time. Plus, they get goodies: a toothbrush, toothpaste, a miniature hour-glass timer and a dinosaur flosser."

The 21 MDS dental assistants try to make their presentation fun and interesting, while at the same time, informative and helpful.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Ware joined Luscier in delivering the dental presentation for one class while their coworkers, Tech. Sgt. Grace Yarlett and Senior Airman Janee Tamayo made a similar presentation to another class of pre-schoolers.

Ware brought along a stuffed-animal dinosaur for demonstration purposes. The stuffed animal looks like any other, except this one has a mouth full of bright, white, overly large teeth.

"I demonstrate proper brushing technique and then I have the kids come up and brush the dinosaur's teeth," he said. "It's an effective way to get them interested in brushing the right way."

The dental assistants also tried to ease children's fears about going to the dentist and what to expect when they arrive at the dentist's office. They also talked about how it's important to eat foods that are healthy for teeth, like apples, carrots and celery versus foods that are unhealthy, like candy and ice cream. And finally, they provided information about the frequency and times of the day children should brush.

"Hopefully, we managed to persuade them to eat more carrots and not get cavities," Luscier said.

Ware said the dental assistants had some leftover brushes, floss and timers from the CDC visit and they will donate all of those supplies to children at Ellicott Elementary School.
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