Last Friday, I had the chance to head over to a nearby Walmart and board the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Oral Care Van.  By the time I left I was impressed with the program, the way it is set up, and the people who give their time to it!

I also used and abused my privileges of getting to be there, for the few moments when parents and kids were not on the van, and drilled Dr. Victor Rodriguez on questions about my own families oral care habits!

Volunteering his time and hour away from his office in Clear Lake, TX, Dr. Rodriguez was kind, cheerful, and informative.  And he answered every question I had and every question that the parents of his patients had, in both English and Spanish!

I asked a few pestering questions that I had been saving for our family dentist.  And I am paraphrasing his answers!

How often should young children floss?

– Once a day.  It is good to get young children used to the feeling of floss and the routine of it.  Along with brushing twice a day, flossing should be habit in any household.

Can they use the ‘picks’ that I see at the store to floss?

– It is really better to use regular adult floss on them that you, the parent, wraps around your finger and flosses them with.  Regular floss will not hurt them and the picks may not reach back in small mouths or just be chewed on instead of used properly.  And you want them to know what real flossing is as early as possible.

I put my kids to bed with milk still.  How bad is it really for baby teeth?

– It is not good.  Even 1% and 2% milk has sugar in it and that sugar eats away at their teeth overnight.  Baby teeth can still get cavities and need additional dental care.  You want to put your kids to bed with water if they insist on having a drink.

That is about all of the questions I had time for with as busy as the van was!

Check out my slide show of my visit!

I turned my attention to the man running the show.  He referred to himself as ‘Mr. Toothbrush’ and was in total control of everything from driving the van to getting the consent forms to blowing up the balloons to handing out the info packs.  He was the jack of all smiles on the van!

He told me the Bright Smiles, Bright Future van had been in existence since 1991 and that he himself had been witness to thousands of kids getting a necessary report on their current dental health.

He told me that all of the dentists that participate are volunteers.  And if there is a ‘bad’ report or a mouth that needs further attention, they will refer that family to an area dentist to seek further treatment.

My Colgate Stockpile

By the time I left, I was more than impressed with the program, the people on the van, and the parents that took advantage of a free professional exam offered to them by Colgate.  I was glad that Colgate is the only brand we use in our house and that my efforts to stockpile it help support a program such as this!

And I left with a new resolve to tighten up the dental care habits of my kids in our home.  I have introduced flossing by having my kids come and watch me so they know it is not scary, am taking yet another shot at getting them to go to sleep without milk, and am more determined to make sure they do brush their teeth twice a day.

Because, as Dr. Rodriguez explained, even though baby teeth fall out and are replaced, they are the perfect set to practice on for your big kid teeth!

The Colgate Building Smiles Tour could be coming to your community!  Take your kids and meet some really great, dedicated people, and tell them you learned about it here!  Plus get some free products and valuable coupons!


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