Preschools Add Brush-and-Spit to Day
HAVERHILL, Mass. — The twelve 4-year-olds sat in a corner, small hands clasping toothbrushes. Isaac and Aaron brandished them like swords, stabbing each other in the side. Jacky rubbed his into the carpet. Abigail squirmed, and Chayleece jumped up and down.
You ready? Start brushing!” said Massiel Diaz, their teacher at the Basic Beginnings day care center. “Brush, brush your teeth — at least two times a day. Clean, clean, clean — fighting tooth decay,” Ms. Diaz sang out, as the children moved the brushes up, down and around, connecting with teeth occasionally but also with their face and nose.
Massachusetts is the first state to add toothbrush time to the color-nap-snack-and-play routine of preschools, requiring that all children who eat a meal at day care, or attend for more than four hours, brush their teeth during class and be educated about oral health.
The regulations, which went into effect last week, are being praised by some parents and caregivers while causing a tempest in a toothbrush for others, according to schools and chat rooms.
"I don’t want someone’s hand in my child’s mouth," said Sarah Brodsky, a teacher at First Path Day Care in Watertown and mother of 4-month-old Noah. "It’s a little too much" government intervention, Ms. Brodsky added.
It's getting competitive out there...
But Massachusetts is going to be darned to let anyone surpass it as THE *nanny state*!!!
Full Disclosure - I also teach my (homeschooled) students the fundamentals of good oral hygiene. But I incorporate math as well. With mine, I start out the brushing myself, then, after a spit I give them the toothbrushes to wield. The 3.62 year old Princess has to count 30 good brushes and so does her older brother. But with him, I mix it up. He has to count to 90 by threes, from 90 down to 0 by threes, from 2 to 60 by twos - or backwards, 1 to 15 by halves, or 1 to 10 by thirds. This is so-called *skip counting* and I've found it to be a good twice-a-day exercise.