By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
The Tooth Wizard catches PlaqueMan in the act.


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month — the perfect time to emphasize the importance of establishing good oral health habits at an early age to prevent tooth decay.

Nearly two in five Illinois children had at least one cavity in the past year. Oral health issues, such as tooth decay, can cause children to miss school and negatively impact school performance. In fact, 38 percent of Illinois parents say their 6- to 12-year-old children had to miss school because of an oral health problem last year.

To help kids learn about the importance of good oral health and how to fight tooth decay, two costumed characters – Tooth Wizard and PlaqueMan – put on a fun, interactive performance with kindergarten through fourth grade students at Capron, Manchester, and Poplar Grove elementary schools on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21 and 22 as part of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s Land of Smiles program.

“We do about ten shows a week,” the Tooth Wizard said after the show at Capron Elementary School. “We focus on spreading awareness of proper dental practices with the know-how to take care of teeth, and have fun doing it. We are going for the PBS-programming style of spreading knowledge in a kid-friendly, fun and interesting manner.”

“We want the kids to get into a healthy routine in caring for their teeth,” said PlaqueMan. “And not spend their time in the dentist’s office with problems. Our show is very presentable and can help instill good habits in the kids at an early age.

“We visit schools all over Illinois. We were just in southern Illinois. Delta Dental also does these programs in Missouri, South Carolina, and Colorado. People can go to and schedule a show.”

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation believes that oral health education helps…

For complete article, pick up the Feb. 28 Belvidere Republican.

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