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Introduction to Public Dental Education Grades K-6
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In keeping with our mission and other facts like the surgeon generals' report, we know that Dental Education is lacking amongst the people we serve. This area of the website contains dental education opportunities for the general public. If there is any particular topic that you would like more information on, please conact us.

This should be in conjunction with annual visits and discussion with a licensed dentist.  This covers "What are teeth and how to keep them for the rest of your life" lecture. 

The rational behind this program is to teach and remind the importance of dental health and education to the students.  Ongoing reminders throughout the year work much better than one reminder in February during Childrens Dental Health Month.  This program also tries to give a very complete overview of all aspects of dentistry. 

If you have any questions on this Public Dental Education Program Grades K-6, Please feel free to call Dr. Dawood or Dr. Mohamed Harunani at  (815)732-6192 or (815)562-7582. or via email or 

The ADI gratefully acknowledges the dedication of Drs. Harunani to dental education and "sharing and caring through dentistry."

The Lecture

Structure of teeth
What are teeth and how you can keep them for the rest of your life.

Parts of teeth

  • Enamel - Hard outer covering of the tooth. It helps to Keep the tooth from being worn away by the forces of chewing. It is the hardest tissue in the body. It is made from crystals(hydroxyappatite).

  • Dentin - Bone-like tissue that lies underneath the enamel and supports it. Dentin forms the bulk of the tooth. It is made of dentinal tubules.

  • Pulp - This is a Soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. It lies within the dentin, at the center of the crown and the root.

  • Cementum -This is a thin, bone-like tissue that covers the root of the tooth.

  • P.D.L.- This a layer of tissue that connects the root to the jawbone. It stretches between the cementum and the bone around the tooth. Acts like a shock absorber in a car. 

NOTE: This is a diagram of Primary or baby teeth, there are no Bicuspids in this set. The Primary molars are replaced by permanent bicuspids. The permanent molars come in behind the bicuspids. There are 20 primary teeth and 32 permanent teeth.

Function of Teeth

  • Incisors - Located in the center front of the mouth. They have sharp, chisel-shaped crowns that cut food.
  • Canines - Located at the corners of the mouth. They have pointed crowns and are used to tear food.
  • Bicuspids -Located just behind the canines. They have 2 cusps and are used to crush and tear food.
  • Molars - Located in the back of the mouth. They have several cusps and are used to chew and grind food.

Importance of teeth

  1. Speech(talking)

  2. Mastication(chewing/eating)

  3. Asthetics(looks)- Teeth give your face its form and shape. They affect your appearance. Clean, healthy teeth can help you look good to yourself and to others.

Advantages of having and keeping teeth clean

  1. Teeth are meant to last a life time, but like other parts of your body, they are susceptible to disease. Thus they should be kept clean and if they are kept clean, they will last you a life time and you will not have to be worried about having to leave your teeth in a cup overnight (i.e. have dentures).

  2. Keeping teeth clean cuts down the chances of getting cavities. It also prevents periodontal(gum) diseases. In the presence of plaque and sugar, acid is formed. This acid practically "eats" away your enamel, which if not taken care of in a timely manner will result in cavities and the eventual loss of teeth.

  3. Nicer smelling breath.

  4. Cost effective. You will decrease your dental expenses.

  5. Better occlusion. Teeth have a tendancy to move and super-erupt. This can create a collapse of the bite and/or jaw.Thus, you MUST clean your teeth regularly, in fact, nice clean and white teeth impress people and will open more doors for you(in terms of friendships and careers).

How to maintain your teeth and prevent dental problems.

  1. Plaque control

    There are several ways of keeping the teeth clean. All these methods help and none on their own are totally sufficient to have perfectly clean teeth. Good oral hygiene helps to prevent dental disease by hindering the growth of dental plaque.

A. Brushing

The goal of brushing is to remove plaque from the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Select a brush with soft bristles. Worn out brushes do not remove plaque effectively, so be sure to replace the toothbrush as soon as the bristles look bent or frayed. Toothbrushes need to be replaced every 3 or 4 months.

Here is how to brush correctly:

  • Hold the brush at a 45' angle against the gumline.

  • Move the brush back and forth with short (1/2 tooth wide) strokes several times using a gentle "scrubbing motion." Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gum lines. Use the same method on all of the inside surfaces of your teeth, upper and lower, still using the short back and forth. Do not press hard, let the bristles get into the grooves of your teeth. For the front teeth, brush the inside surfaces of the upper and lower jaws by tilting the brush vertically and making several gentle up and down strokes with the brush.

  • Brushing your tongue will help freshen your breath.

  • Always brush with an ADA accepted fluoride toothpaste.

B. Flossing

The goal of flossing is to remove the plaque from in between your teeth and under the gum line. Either waxed or unwaxed floss may be used to floss the teeth. Here is how to floss correctly (incorrect methods of flossing can damage your gums):

  • Take about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wind the rest around the same finger of the other.

  • Using thumbs and forefingers, gently slide the floss between the teeth until it reaches the gum line. Curve floss into a C@shape around the tooth. Gently scrape up and down the side of the tooth. Repeat this procedure for all teeth.

  • Usually waxed floss is used for tight contacts,while unwaxed floss is used for less tight contacts. (Tight contact means two adjacent teeth are very close to each other).

C. Checking Plaque Removal

To see if any plaque has been missed, you can use a disclosing (staining) tablet or solution. These products are made of harmless vegetable dyes that stain the plaque a bright color, so that you can see it. Here is how to disclose plaque:

  • Chew a disclosing tablet or swish the disclosing solution around in your mouth.

  • Empty the mouth.

  • Rinse the mouth out with water.

  • Look at your teeth in a mirror. Notice the areas where the teeth have been stained. This stain shows where there is still plaque.

  • Clean teeth until all plaque has been removed.

  • Check by staining again. If the plaque has been removed completely, no color will remain on the teeth (color on the tongue will disappear in a few hours).

2. Fluoride

Fluoride helps the teeth to become stronger and less likely to decay. Here are some of the ways you can get the benefits of fluoride. Due to fluoridation, 1 out of 5 kids have no decay.

  1. By drinking fluoridated water- Many communities have added the correct amount of fluoride needed for good dental health to the community water supply.In areas where this is not done, fluoride may be added to the water supply by some institutions.

  2. By taking a fluoride supplement - Your dentist or physician may prescribe fluoride tablets or drops for you to take daily, depending on the amount of fluoride you get from other sources.

  3. By having fluoride applied in dental offices- Your dentist may apply a fluoride gel or solution to your teeth. This method is especially helpful for people who do not drink fluoridated water, or who have a lot of tooth decay. However, even those who drink fluoridated water will benefit from a fluoridated gel or solution.

  4. By brushing with a fluoride toothpaste- When you brush your teeth, always use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Choose a toothpaste that has a seal of the Council on Dental Therapeutics of the American Dental Association `on the package or tube. These toothpastes have been shown to be effective in reducing tooth decay.

  5. By using a fluoride mouthrinse- There are several ADA accepted fluoride mouthrinses available for home use.  ACT Fluoride mouthrinses help to prevent decay. Please make sure to follow directions carefully when rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthrinse.

3. Regular Dental Visits

During these visits, your mouth will be checked for signs of dental diseases. The dentist may review your plaque control techniques, or provide ongoing nutrition counsel ing. If necessary, X-rays will be taken of your mouth, and your teeth will be professionally cleaned. Your dentist may also prescribe fluoride or recommend other techniques to prevent dental diseases.

4. Diet

A good diet is necessary for proper growth and development and for keeping the body healthy. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, the bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well balanced diet. For a good diet you should eat fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, milk, dairy products, meat, chicken and fish.

Many factors determine how foods affect your teeth. Not only how much sugar the foods contain, but what texture the foods have, when they are eaten, and how often they are eaten are all important. That is why sweet, sticky food should be served only with meals, for they are less harmful to the teeth when they are eaten along with other foods.

INTERESTING - If 2 identical twins receive 2 pounds of candy each, and one sits down and finishes all his candy in 2 days, while the other one eats a little at a time and keeps eating it for 2 months, who will have the worst teeth at the end of 2 months?

Answer: The kid who ate his candy slowly will be the one in bad shape, because every time you eat anything with sugar, you expose your teeth to 20 minutes of acid attack.

Bacteria + sugar = acid and acid + healthy tooth = decayed tooth. Thus, it is the number of times that you take sugar and not the amount of sugar you consume that affects your teeth.

Every time you have a snack with sugar or starch, you expose your teeth to 20 minutes of acid attack. How many of you had a candy bar for lunch? Instead of that candy bar, you could have had a fruit or a salad, and prevent the acid attack. So go sugarless and not only have healthy teeth for a lifetime but also keep down the weight.

The biggest problem with teeth today is soda/pop consumption. Most of them contain 3 ACIDS(carbonated water or carbonic ACID, phosphoric ACID and citric ACID). These acids dissolve the crystals of the enamel called Hydroxyappatite(crystals).


The first responsibility for good oral health is yours. You are the only person who sees your mouth every day, and you are the person who must take the time needed to prevent dental diseases. If you choose, you can keep your mouth healthy for a long time. It is up to you.


Academy of Dentistry International
100 Park Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, New York 10017 USA
Tel: +1 212 984 0672 (voicemail for Interim Executive Director)