Dentist teaches kids to brush

Feb 25, 2019

Second graders at Quinn Elementary kicked off their week by brushing up on dental hygiene at a presentation from Dr. Sabrina Malla. Malla, a dentist, visits schools in the area to help kids learn good dental hygiene and build good habits by emphasizing the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, and flossing each evening.

She also led students as they identified healthy and unhealthy snacks — sugary snacks can cause cavities.

After a quick demonstration of brushing techniques, Malla invited students to brush and floss Dino’s teeth — Dino being a stuffed dinosaur with a remarkable set of plastic human teeth.

Students asked questions including whether one still needs to floss, even if one brushes his or her teeth for three minutes? The answer was yes.

Malla has been making visits like this to schools for eight years. She said that since she graduated, she has been committed to helping people who may not be able to afford to go to the dentist regularly.

“It’s like another kind of happiness, that gives that peace and happiness to teach young minds,” Malla said.

Malla usually focuses on children, although she has also educated older adults and seniors.

“They will also affect people around them, like their parents or their siblings,” Malla said.

She said that she has worked with nearly 900 kids in the area. Her visits are usually sponsored by the Massachusetts Dental Society, which provides her with educational booklets and dental hygiene kits for each child that include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a two minute sand timer.