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February 27, 2010

Children greet tooth fairy, get screened

Dental professionals volunteer to help kids

ANDERSON — Children were greeted by the Tooth fairy and learned all about taking care of their teeth at the 18th annual Dental Health Fair at the Anderson Public Library on Saturday.

“It’s for public information and to reach out to the families in the community and teach them about good health habits,” said Rhonda Hecht, a member of the East Central Indiana Dental Hygienists Association who set helped coordinate the event. “And to provide a service that’s free.”

Nine dental hygienists and dentists Dr. Brank deBruhl, of Middletown Family Dentistry, and Dr. Tony Grasso, retired, volunteered their time for four hours on Saturday. They offered the free dental screenings that included a fluoride treatment and dental hygiene education.

According to assistant children’s librarian Jeanette Graham, about 40 of the 80 children attending the fair received free screenings. The other children were given gift bags with dental care products, she said.

“They had a good turnout with it because it was a steady flow of people,” she said.

Hecht said the association also put on a puppet show for the children, “stressing brushing twice a day, eating healthy foods, flossing, using toothpaste with fluoride.”

The fair, which takes place in the children’s books section on the second floor of the library, has been at the Anderson Public Library for at least 10 years, Graham said.

“We used to go into the schools,” Hecht said. “At that time, Anderson had a lot of elementary schools and it was hard for us to get into all of the schools.”

Hecht said the fair allows children an opportunity to have their teeth looked at in a non-threatening atmosphere.

“Some of the kids we saw today had never been to a dentist,” she said. “For them, if we saw something that needed attention right away, we do tell the parents about that.”

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