Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preschools Add Brush-and-Spit to Day

Sarah Fuerst
English 122- B. Kern
30 January 2010
Preschools Add Brush-and-Spit to Day

Today, The New York Times published an article about toothbrush time being added to the routine of preschoolers in Haverhill, Massachusetts. While many parents are pleased to hear this, others are not so happy. Many of the parents don't want other people touching their children's mouths and think that teaching a child to brush their teeth is the parent's job. Sherri Killins, commissioner of the Early Education and Care, states that, "poor dental care is the most common, chronic childhood ailment, and if not treated can result in pain, infection, and other devastating impacts on a child's health" and supports the idea fully. While other doctors who support the idea, are still worried about the underlying problems, like the spread of germs through the toothbrush.

Although poor dental care may be true in children, I think the best way around this problem is to teach the parent the correct way, not the child. At the beginning of this article it stated that some children while supposed to be brushing thier teeth were really, playing swords with them and rubbing them into the carpet. I know that it is not easy to prevent the spread of germs in a preschool but toothbrushes are not going to help. The children could easliy switch toothbrushes with each other, sharing saliva or get germs from the teacher trying to help brush their teeth. I think you would see better results with the dental care of children if the parents got more information on the correct way to brush their childrens teeth. I agree that it is a parent's job to teach their children and it is not meant for the public.


  1. Teachng children to brush properly may not be a bad thing. I agree with you that parents should be doing the teaching. Unfortunatley, many parents do not and it is the child who suffers. Parents should also be teaching handwashing, sex education, drug awareness, manners, but some do not. Teachers have been forced to become almost the surrogate parent for some! Thank god some of these children have them!

  2. Sarah-
    I agree with your position on this topic. It is sad that some kids don't have the parental guidance that they deserve, but teachers can't fix everything. The line has to be drawn somewhere. Teaching proper oral care is just too risky in schools, as far as health issues are concerned.