Enlightening Young Minds About Brightening Smiles
Since February was Dental Health month, all three Kindergarten classes along with the PALS students at Lincoln Avenue were treated to a very special visit from local dentist Walter W. Rostkowski, DDS, who shared his love for dentistry.
Learning how to take care of their teeth with good oral hygiene was the aim of this session, but it was so much more fun having Dr. Rostkowski and his assistant Nurse Debbie show them. Using a large tooth model and tooth brush, Dr. R discussed gums and molars and demonstrated the best way to brush properly. He also explained that while good dental hygiene begins with using a toothbrush with soft bristles and brushing twice a day, it continues with a regular routine of flossing (the floss sticks are ideal), using mouthwash, and seeing the dentist twice a year.
Although children might find it tempting to touch their teeth and stick their fingers in their mouths, Dr. R reminded them that germs on their hands could make them sick and advised them to keep their hands out mouths.
So many of the students were already losing their baby teeth, and Dr. R and Nurse Debbie told the students that this was typical for their age because they had two sets of teeth. Their baby teeth were being pushed up and out by the adult teeth growing in below to replace them. The students discovered they had twenty baby teeth and learned when their adult teeth eventually all grew in, they would likely have thirty-two teeth.
Dr. Rostkowski was a giant hit. “He is such a lovely man and was amazing with the kids,” said Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Heather Gonzalez, and while the children giggled and squealed throughout his demonstrations, they were especially delighted when Nurse Debbie handed out the “goody bags filled with a toothbrush, tooth paste, book mark, certificate, stickers, coloring book.”
In addition to lessons on dental health, Mrs. Gonzalez felt all the Kindergarten classes benefitted from this lesson in social studies as it relates to goods and services that fulfill needs and wants within a community. Dr. Rostkowski’s visit “further developed this sense of community,” Mrs. Gonzales added. “the students learned from none-other than an actual community helper from Sayville.”
Later, the students in Christine Caltabiano’s, Heather Gonzalez’s, and Gina LoCurto’s Kindergarten classes along with the PALS students in Amber Danisi’s class signed a tooth-shaped card and sent it to Dr. Rostkowski and Nurse Debbie expressing their thanks for their informative visit.