Brushing up on dental hygiene

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ORCHARD MESA, Colo. (KKCO) -- Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary trying to educating their students about a special topic Wednesday: oral health.

The Center for Disease Control pinpoints cavities as the most common chronic illness among U.S. kids.

According to the CDC more than 14 percent of students will have cavities before they're in kindergarten.

Students at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary took a trip to the Land of the Smiles.

"If we can teach them just to take care of themselves right now, just the basic fundamentals that you and I take for granted,” said Jessica Frye a school nurse. “Getting good sleep getting good exercise if we can instill those habits in them now, then those will carry on for their whole life.”

CDC studies also show that oral health is an indicator of overall health.

“We are always talking to our kids about coming to school ready to learn. Brushing your teeth and having a good breakfast and having a good night’s sleep, are all about coming to school and being a learner. Anytime our community wants to help us with those efforts, we are happy to partner with anyone. We are excited delta dental is here today,” said Kraeuter.

An interactive presentation with fun props and larger than life demonstrations with the goal of getting kids excited about brushing their teeth.

"When you engage them in it, it becomes much easier to adopt those kinds of habits,” said Leia Kraeuter the principal of Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary.

"I learned that you need to brush your teeth and you need to eat healthy stuff,” said a second grader Maja.

"Get took to the dentist twice a year and brush your teeth twice a day, and floss your teeth,” said Kaylyn, another second grader.

Students learned that sugar turns to plaque if it sits on teeth too long, to brush in little circles and go to dentist twice a year.

"I learned to brush my teeth, once a day and once a night. Brush my teeth after breakfast, after my first snack, and after lunch and after my second snack and after dinner,” said Onyx, a kindergarten student.

The percentage of youth between 5 to 19 years old tooth decay is twice as high for kids from low-income families.

That's why Land of Smiles is visiting over 100 Colorado schools, hoping to reach about 30,000 students.

At Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary, more than 50 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, fitting them into that group likely to have dental problems.

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