The exhibit is a large mouth with teeth, large toothbrushes and floss, designed for kids to “practice cleaning ‘germs’ off of the teeth.” The project was made possible by donations from the First District Dental Society, local dentists and other contributors.
The exhibit cost a little under $40,000 to create, according to Dr. Angela Cameron, owner of Johnson City’s Sophisticated Smiles.
“The bulk of that money was for this creation. Nothing like this had been created before,” said Cameron, a member of the organization’s planning committee and vice president-elect. “It had to be custom created for the museum.”
The goal of the exhibit is to “help educate children on the connection between bacteria and cavities” and promote good dental hygiene. The new addition to the museum will be unveiled on Feb. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Through this exhibit, children will be reminded to brush twice a day for two minutes, or “2x2,” to combat preventable dental diseases such as gingivitis and cavities. Cameron said the exhibit will be the first of its kind at Hands-On!
“Our goal is to educate children about the importance of taking care of their smile and the anatomy of their teeth,” Cameron said. “A lot of dental diseases in children can be prevented.”
The First District Dental Society is part of the Tennessee Dental Association, which is part of the American Dental Association. Cameron said these professional networks seek to reach out to the community and educate others on what it takes to keep a smile healthy.
“Each year, we have a goal we focus on, and this year is community outreach,” she said. “This is one of many community projects we’ve been doing as dentists to give back to the community.”
Cameron said the project was made possible with the help of First District Dental Society President Dr. Rachel Hymes.
“This was her brainchild, and she was the one who thought of this idea and brought it to the First District,” she said.