Elburnâ€”Elburn children in kindergarten through third grade will learn how to take care of their teeth and the importance of good oral health from Tooth Wizard as he battles his nemesis PlaqueMan, during Delta Dental of Illinois’ Land of Smiles program at Blackberry Creek Elementary on Friday, Jan. 22.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children in Illinois. According to a survey by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 55 percent of Illinois third-graders have experienced dental cavities. Among those children, 30 percent have untreated cavities and 4 percent have cavities that need urgent dental treatment.
â€œSince most tooth decay is preventable, we know it is important to start educating children about good oral health habits at an early age,â€ said Tom Colgan, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. â€œThis program inspires a lifetime of good oral health habits and helps further our mission to improve the oral health of the communities we serve.â€
Land of Smiles, sponsored by the nonprofit Delta Dental of Illinois, is a theatrical performance in which costumed characters Tooth Wizard and PlaqueMan educate kids on how to get rid of what Tooth Wizard refers to as that â€œicky, sticky, slimy, grimy, sort of yellowy, greeny gunkâ€â€”known as plaqueâ€”which causes cavities and damages gums.
Student volunteers will help Tooth Wizard and PlaqueMan demonstrate proper brushing techniques and how to floss using an oversized set of teeth and toothbrush. The characters will also discuss good and bad foods for teeth and why it is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year.