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Sugar-Less celebrations offer sweet way to educate kids about oral health

April 23, 2012

By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff

Trenton, N.J.—Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month with fourth-graders across the state, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services hosted “Sugar-Less Day To Prevent Tooth Decay” at 21 participating elementary schools in February and March.

Children in the program attended an oral health presentation conducted by a registered dental hygienist from the Department’s Children’s Oral Health Program. The education program emphasized the importance of brushing, flossing, regular dental visits and healthy food choices. All students received an oral health care kit and a certificate of participation. Students also participated in an oral health poster contest.

According to Dr. Beverly Sce, Children’s Oral Health Program Director, “Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay 2012 has been a fun filled oral health education activity for fourth grade students throughout New Jersey. Oral health posters on display at participating schools bring the message of good oral health to the entire school community.”

The program, funded in part by a 2012 NCDHM Samuel D. Harris Grant from Oral Health America, reached approximately 1,500 children statewide.

Redshaw winners: Sugar-Less Day poster contest winners from A.C. Redshaw Elementary School in New Brunswick, N.J., display their winning designs. Pictured are, from left, Dr. Beverly Sce, director of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Children’s Oral Health Program; Maggie McLaughlin, public health dental hygienist, Central Jersey Family Health Consortium; Alfredo Flores, second place poster contest winner; Neyda Reyes, first place poster contest winner; Vikki Abdus-Salaam, A.C. Redshaw Elementary School principal; and Liz Hartman, regional oral health coordinator, Central Jersey Family Health Consortium.

Clifton winners: Sugar-Less Day poster contest winners from Clifton Avenue Grade School in Lakewood, N.J., receive their ribbons. Pictured are, back row, from left: Matthew Gray, principal; Lacey Majors, fourth-grade grade teacher; Theresa Pugliese, school nurse; Kim Bongiorno, Children’s Oral Health Program dental hygienist; Maryellen McLaughlin, fourth-grade teacher; front row, from left: first place poster contest winner Elisabet Salazar; and second place poster contest winner Nyzionah Tolbert.

Award winner: The winning poster from Clifton Avenue School in Lakewood, N.J., covers the highlights of the Sugar-Less Day oral health education program presented to the school’s fourth-graders.