Brushing tips lead to more than 2,500 Shelby County smiles

Do you know the 2’s for a healthy smile? Brush 2 times a day, for 2 minutes each time, and see the dentist 2 times a year.

More than 2,500 Shelby County elementary students learned this and more through the Smile Kentucky! program in October.

Louisville Water educators, Shelby County Extension office staff, and high school students from the Shelby County ATC (Area Technology Center) gave students important tips on how to take care of their teeth.

Students learned the proper way to brush and floss through hands-on demonstrations using students as teeth!

As part of the program, they also learned about healthy food choices and the number one healthy drink choice — tap water!

Smile Kentucky! began in 2002 as the result of a simple idea: what if a group of community partners came together to do something big — something that would truly improve children’s oral health.

Smile Kentucky! was created by Louisville Water, the Louisville Dental Society, the UofL School of Dentistry, Colgate, Sullivan Schein Dental, the Northwest Area Health Education Center, and the Bullitt County Health Department. These partners had worked together, but during a dinner meeting, a dentist suggested a program that would do more than just screen for cavities.

That meeting laid the foundation for the Smile Kentucky program! The partnership provides education resources and also offers free dental screenings and treatment throughout the region.

The Kentucky Dental Association uses Smile Kentucky! as its community education effort.