As a community dental hygienist on the Sunshine Coast, Mary Findlay, a.k.a. the “Tooth Mary" has been working her oral health magic for nearly 47 years. Mary lets kids discover all the fun tooth toys in her bags while she teaches them about good oral hygiene.
“I stress the importance of diet and the kids really get it," says Mary. Sugar is the major culprit when it comes to tooth decay Mary explains, and it's the frequency of sugar consumption—not the amount—that the makes the biggest difference.
Mary says that tooth brushing is a great practice and is great for gums, but it can't prevent tooth decay on its own. “It's what kids eat and drink that's most important."
For parents, grandparents and caregivers, the Tooth Mary has this advice:
- Avoid foods containing sugar—it's hiding in lots of processed foods.
- Avoid sugary drinks like pop and juice.
- Make water the beverage of choice and the carry-along beverage.
Mary is based at the Gibsons Health Unit but her Tooth Mary duties take her to daycares and elementary schools in Roberts Creek, Langdale and all along the Sunshine Coast.
“The best part of my job is my clients—the kids," says Mary.
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