Super Smiles- teaching youth about the importance of a healthy smile
Molina Healthcare of Wisconsin visit local schools and community organizations to teach youth about the importance of dental hygiene through Molina’s Super Smiles program. Super Smiles is an interactive presentation about oral care, which includes demonstrations of proper brushing and flossing, examples of foods that are good for your teeth and games to keep children engaged. Each child who completes the program takes home a toothbrush, educational materials, a Super Smiles calendar to keep their oral care on track, and a certificate of competition.
“We love coming out to schools to provide health education at a level the children understand and enjoy,” says Elizabeth Benz, community outreach director of Molina Healthcare. “The kids love Dr. Cleo, our cat mascot, and get excited about our visits. We hope that by making dental hygiene fun, they will continue to brush and floss at home and be excited to share with their parents so they too become part of the effort.”
Proper dental hygiene can help prevent gum disease, which may increase risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. In pregnant women, gum disease can also increase risk of premature birth. Children and adults should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Dental care should start as soon as the first tooth appears. Visits to the dentist should begin by the age of 1 and continue through adulthood every 6 months.
Photo Caption: Dr. Cleo, Molina Healthcare’s cat doctor mascot, and students at the Multicultural Community Services Child Care Center practice proper brushing on Dino the dinosaur.