Dental Associates visits schools to teach kids brushing, flossing

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MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) -- Ask any dentist and they'll tell you it's never too early to teach kids about brushing and flossing.  Tooth decay can start as soon as baby teeth come in.

Dentists say the magic number is two.  Brush for two minutes, two times a day to prevent those tiny little teeth from getting cavities.

At Shady Lane Elementary in Menomonee Falls, assistants from Dental Associates are teaching from Kindergarten through third grade the proper way to use a toothbrush and how to get deep down into those hard to reach areas.

“Make sure just nice and gentle circles,” said dental assistant Tanya Burgarino to the kids during a presentation.  “Brushing and flossing takes a lot of practice.  Even for adults, a lot of people miss certain spots in their teeth, so we like to have them start out at a young age.”

As a part of Children's Dental Health Month, the organization is visiting dozens of schools in southeast Wisconsin, giving students hands-on tutorials on the importance of brushing and flossing.

“What we want to do is go up and down.  We want to get that food out of there,” said Burgarino.

It keeps your teeth from getting cavities,” said third-grader Cameron Koch.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, more than 50% of children age five or less have some form of tooth decay.  So to curb that number, dentists stress starting young and kicking the bad habits early.

“Cavities can start right when your teeth are coming in,” said Burgarino.

“I actually haven't been brushing in circles, so I got to work on that,” said third-grader Cassandra Jones.

Practice and repetition, they say, are two simple things kids can do to keep those pearly smiles bright and healthy.

This month, Dental Associates will be visiting 125 schools across Wisconsin, reaching out to more than 10,000 kids statewide.