BV students brush up on dental hygiene with Dr. West

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Dr. Geoff West of Ozark Lakes Family Dentistry answers questions from Berryville Elementary students after his dental education program on Friday morning.
Photo by Tavi Ellis/Carroll County News

Dr. Geoff West, DDS, helped students brush up on their dental hygiene at Berryville Elementary School on Friday.

February is Dental Awareness Month, so West held three dental assemblies Friday morning to go over the basics of dental health with the students. This is the third year West has provided his services, as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste, to Berryville Elementary School.

West told the students that one of the best ways to prevent cavities is by eating healthy foods and drinking healthy drinks, such as water. He told the children that the bacteria, referred to as “bugs,” which cause cavities like sugary foods and drinks.

“The main thing is we want to try not to eat too many sugary foods or drink too many sugary drinks, like soda,” he said. “The bugs that cause cavities really like to use sugar, so, if we put too much sugar in our mouths, those bugs can go kind of crazy.”

After a video presentation, West reviewed the information with the students, asking them what they remembered about maintaining good dental hygiene.

He said everyone should try to see the dentist twice a year.

“Twice a year is the best,” he said. “If you can see a dentist at least once a year, that’s a whole lot better than not at all.”

West told the students they should brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed, and should floss once a day.

He asked them what the special ingredient is that makes toothpaste work, and the students answered “fluoride.”

“You all are so smart,” West said. “Fluoride is what makes toothpaste work. It’s very important.”

He also told the students that children start with 20 baby teeth. Adults, he said, have an average of 32 teeth.

“Different adults have different numbers of teeth, but the average is 32,” he said.

West and elementary nurse Kristy Evans then handed out complimentary bags with toothbrushes and toothpaste, encouraging the students to keep up their dental hygiene at home.

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