Air Commandos teach children dental hygiene
By Airman 1st Class Vernon R. Walter III, 27 SOW/PA
/ Published February 22, 2019
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Members of the 27th Special Operations Aerospace Medicine Squadron held an assembly to teach Air Commando children the importance of taking care of their teeth at the Youth Center Annex here Feb. 21, 2019.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Members of the 27th SOAMDS have been holding briefings across Cannon to spread awareness of the health benefits of good oral hygiene can provide young ones over the month.
“Childhood is an important time to practice taking care of your teeth,” said Capt. Zachary Kapotes, 27th SOAMDS general dentist. “Cavities are a prevalent disease that children face, and it can be prevented with just a few minutes a day fighting them off. We use this month to go out and teach children and parents simple steps that lead to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy smile.”
Kapotes started the event off with asking the children what they knew about taking care of their teeth. After a brief oration on dental health, Kapotes turned the floor over to the youth so they could ask their own questions about oral hygiene.
“The kids were extremely interested,” Kapotes said. “They asked a lot of good questions that showed they really cared about the subject. I had a girl ask, ‘How does toothpaste keep your teeth healthy?,’ After telling her the answer, she seemed to really light up.”
Kapotes and other members of the 27th SOAMDS had the children partake in hands-on demonstrations, such as identifying food and drinks that were bad for teeth, and practicing brushing on teddy bears.
“Brushing your teeth is really important,” said Nylah Dash, age 8, daughter of Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Dash, 27th Logistics Readiness Squadron, non-commissioned officer in command of CV-22 Osprey mobility readiness spare packages. “It gives you really healthy teeth, and nice smelling breath. And I got to learn a lot today, like not to eat too much stuff like soda and candy. Just eat a lot of veggies.”
Children’s Dental Health Month is being used by the 27th SOAMDS to teach the children of Cannon’s Air Commandos, military or civilian, how to take care of their teeth and keep them healthy.
“A healthy smile is important to a child,” said Kapotes. “Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.”
The final dental health event is being held at the Cannon Library Feb. 26 at 9 a.m.