Gagaemalae Primary celebrates tooth brushing
The Colgate National Tooth Brushing Day was commemorated at Gagaemalae Primary School at Foailalo, Savai'i last Friday.
The main drive behind the initiative was to educate our children about the proper techniques of tooth brushing and other important methods of dental hygiene such as flossing and proper use of toothpaste.
The clinic was conducted by Doctor Emosi Ah Ching and other fellow nurses from Savai'i and also highlighted healthy diets and eating habits.
"We also highlighted fruits and vegetables, less binge eating, reduce (the) consumption of sweet sticky food," said Dr. Ah Ching.
"Moreover, dental flossing and how to use dental floss and how important it is to floss together with tooth brushing for a clean mouth and fresh breath.
"The brushing duration for 2 minutes and the different and effective tooth brushing techniques for teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks."
The take-home message was: "Spit, Don't Rinse."
"This is to avoid rinsing after using toothpaste, to allow the fluoride toothpaste to work inside the mouth after brushing," Dr. Ah Ching added.
Colgate National Tooth brushing day is an annual event scheduled for the first week of July every year. This is the second time the event has been celebrated in Savai'i.
The dental service in Savai'i is hoping to have it commemorated every year.
"We would like to carry on this event every year," said Dr. Ah Ching.
"The National event is an initiative by Colgate-Palmolive, Fiji. Colgate has kindly supplied Samoa with Bright smiles, Bright Future toothbrushing kits that has allowed us to make this event possible. As well as other dental community outreach programs.
"We had the idea of making this presentation as interactive as possible with some fun and rewarding games for the kids. And today we saw the participation by the kids, and teachers, dancing, and learning. This made our day much more rewarding to see their smiles and excitement during our program.
"The inspiration for me is to give back to our Samoan community that has allowed me to share my knowledge and skills for a good cause. our dental community in Savaii is very small but we will do our very best to make a big impact on our big island of Savai'i."
Lastly, Dr. Ah Ching wanted to thank the strong support of those who helped make Colgate National Tooth Brushing Day a success.
"I would like to acknowledge Principle Tam of Gagaemalae Primary School and all the teachers.
"A big fa'afetai also to Principal Nurse, Henry Taylor, Nurses from Foailalo district hospital and parents who were there to support our program."
Talosaga Fei'a Epati, Head of the Health Department for Gagaemalae Primary School was ecstatic.
"We are so grateful and thankful to the dental team for choosing our school for this special program," Talosaga told the Samoa Observer.
"This is a learning opportunity for our children to learn about the different tooth brushing techniques and also the importance of toothbrushing.
"We do encourage our students to brush their teeth twice a day, but we do know there are still some students who show up in the morning without brushing their teeth.
"So today's event is also an encouragement for the students and also the parents to teach and remind our children to make tooth brushing a habit.
"The children were also reminded about the kind of food that they should be eating so their teeth are not damaged.
"That's why I am happy that we hosted this clinic today, to remind our children that tooth brushing is very very important.
"We have banned the selling of other sweet kinds of stuff and unhealthy food here in the school compound, but the kids still bring them inside. But today is a reminder for them that it is bad for their health."
Leanne Oka, a Year 3 student at Gagaemalae Primary School said she enjoyed the clinic and had so much fun:
"I learned so much today and I am happy I got some free stuff to take home with me."