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Students Gain Dental Wisdom

Birchwood classes hear from experts and put on exhibits about dental health.

It was all about the teeth as Birchwood Intermediate Schoool third-graders gathered to hear dental health advice from some experts.

But it wasn't just a lecture. As part of National Children's Dental Health Month, third-grade teacher Janine D'Elia and her colleagues engaged the students in the subject through lessons some children had helped create, making display boards, providing samples of healthy foods, and setting up exhibits about mouthwash and brushing.

Dr. Jacqueline I. Fulop-Goodling, an orthodontist, and pediatric dentist Dr. Sara Khaledi, along with staff members, explained the importance of proper dental care to a rotating audience of children before they moved off to see the displays of items about maintaining dental health. The dentists discussed sugary foods, proper brushing techniques and posed questions about the number of teeth children and adults have.

Parents, grandparents and others helped out as children moved about the room, exploring the available materials.

D'Elia said the students responsible for the displays spent part of several weeks studying and preparing their exhibits, writing and researching, and integrating lessons in technology to learn more about the subject. Their interest in technology was obvious at last week's event as they used clickers resembling TV remote controls to answer questions on a large screen about the material they had just learned.

"The kids are fascinated by dental health," D'Elia, who has been teaching for 12 years, said. "And if they're giving their parents an awareness of what they've learned, they'll grow up to have healthy teeth."

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