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Improving Oral Health Literacy: Teaching Primary School Students through the Lessons in a Lunch Box Program

Course Number: 456



The lessons taught through the Lessons in a Lunch Box: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks program focus on disease prevention. The lunch box illustrates flossing and brushing in English and Spanish. It displays the USDA nutritional food plate (MyPlate) diagram and link to for children and their families to easily access information about nutritious meal choices.

Children in grades 2 and 3 are encouraged to consider careers in dentistry. This career information is provided by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Explore Health Careers and Dental Student Outreach Program. There is a child-friendly image of two young children playing dentist and a reflective sticker at the opening which reads, “See yourself becoming a dentist, a dental hygienist, a dental assistant or a dental technician.”

The lunch box provides children with their very own dental carrot case (Dental Care in a Carrot) to keep all of their oral hygiene essentials together. The carrot case is designed to store a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. The screw-on carrot case top doubles as a rinse cup. The steps to proper flossing and brushing are printed on the inside along with a polyester mirror. Dental Care in a Carrot is both printed and spelled out in braille on this travel case.

In Part 1 of this course oral health literacy is discussed, and Part 2 of the course goes through the steps in detail that are important to present in the Lessons in a Lunch Box program. Historical data is provided on the research that has been done confirming the need to improve the quality of lives through innovative oral health educational programs and strategies.