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Hygienist Takes Dental Health Message To Schools

Students learn about dental care, disease prevention.

She uses a PowerPoint presentation to get her message across, along with a big tooth model and a big toothbrush to match.

Dental hygienist Vanessa Campos, who works at Lake Zurich’s , is a familiar sight to students at Barrington Middle School.

As the school year begins, Campos begins to make monthly visits to the school, where she takes her message about dental care and hygiene to sixth-graders.

She goes over the basics — brushing and flossing. She also talks about how diet affects dental health.

“I also go into how cavities are formed,” she said.

She covers gingivitis and periodontal disease. And she addresses how other problems and issues, such as piercings, tobacco use, methamphetamine use and eating disorders, can impact a child’s dental health.

Campos said she also visits other schools in the area, as well as several day care centers.

This year, she said, she expects to visit at least 10 schools. Last year, she said, she and her colleagues educated about 2,000 students.

Campos said the value of community involvement was emphasized at College of Lake County, where she recently earned her dental hygiene degree.

“When I was in hygiene school, community service was a big part of our program,” she said.

Campos said she likes working with children and working for a practice that specializes in pediatric dentistry.

“It’s kind of unusual. I think it works better when you’re in a pediatric office,” she said.

Campos said Dr. Paul Herer, the founder of the practice, recommends that parents bring children in for an initial evaluation at 18 to 24 months of age.

“A lot of parents don’t know that’s how early” they should start, Campos said.

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