Teeth do a lot more than just peek out from under that winning smile. They have all sorts of duties, and having healthy teeth will help a person to eat, speak, and look great.
- Using x-ray (radiographic) films and with your counselor's guidance, study the tooth structure and look for decay. Then do the following:
- Using the radiographs as a guide, draw a lower molar. Label its parts and surfaces. Show surrounding structures such as bone and gum tissues.
- Show on your drawing where the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth.
- Show on your drawing where bacterial plaque is most likely to be found.
- Do the following:
- Tell or write about what causes dental decay and gum disease. Tell how each of the following contributes to dental decay and gum disease: bacterial plaque, sugars, and acid.
- Tell the possible causes for traumatic tooth loss, describe the types of mouth guards used to help prevent tooth trauma, and list the athletic activities during which a person should wear a mouth guard.
- Explain the first-aid procedure for saving a tooth that has been knocked out.
- Discuss how the use of tobacco products can negatively affect your oral health.
- Arrange for a visit with a dentist. Before you go, ask whether your visit can include a dental examination and a plaque-control demonstration. Afterward, ask questions about things you want to know. Then tell your counselor what the dentist does during a checkup examination.
- Do TWO of the following:
- Name at least five instruments and five pieces of equipment a dentist uses.
- With the help of a dentist, prepare a dental stone cast using a vibrator, a mixing bowl, a water measure, a plastic measure, model stone, and a spatula.
- Keep a record of everything you eat for three days. Circle those items that may provide the sugars that bacterial plaque needs to make acid. List snacks that you should avoid to help maintain the best oral health.
- Discuss with your merit badge counselor the following:
- How fluorides help prevent tooth decay and the ways fluorides can be provided to the teeth.
- How the mouth is related to the rest of the body. Topics might include chewing, saliva, enzymes, nutrition, and speech.
- Do TWO of the following:
- Make a model tooth out of soap, clay, papier-mâché, or wax. Using a string and a large hand brush, show your troop or a school class proper toothbrushing and flossing procedures.
- Make a poster on the prevention of dental disease. Show the importance of good oral health.
- Collect at least five advertisements for different toothpastes. List the claims that each one makes. Tell about the accuracy of the advertisements.
- Write a feature story for your school newspaper on the proper care of teeth and gums. Include in your story how the use of tobacco products can negatively affect a person's oral health.
- Make drawings and write about the progress of dental decay. Describe the types of dental filling and treatments a dentist can use to repair dental decay problems.
- Find out about three career opportunities in dentistry. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
First Aid, Medicine, and Public Health merit badge pamphlets
- Betancourt, Jeanne. Smile! How to Cope with Your Braces. Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.
- Ichord, Loretta Frances. Toothworms and Spider Juice: An Illustrated History of Dentistry. The Millbrook Press, 2000.
- Klatell, Jack, Andrew Kaplan, and Gray Williams Jr. The Mount Sinai Medical Center Family Guide to Dental Health. Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.
- Lee, McHenry, Joleen Jackson, and Vicki J. Audette. I Hate Dentists! The Feel Good Guide to Going to the Dentist. IHD Publishing, 1999.
- Marsoli, Lisa Ann. Things to Know About Going to the Dentist. Silver Burdett Company, 1984.
- Moss, Stephen J. Your Child's Teeth: A Parent's Guide to Making and Keeping Them Perfect. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977.
- Ring, Malvin. Dentistry: An Illustrated History. Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1985.
- Silverstein, Alvin, and Virginia B. Silverstein. So You're Getting Braces: A Guide to Orthodontics. J. B. Lippincott Company, 1978.
- Smith, Rebecca W., and the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. The Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery's Guide to Family Dental Care. W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.
- Taintor, Jerry F., and Mary Jane Taintor. The Oral Report: The Consumer's Common Sense Guide to Better Dental Care. Facts On File Publications, 1988.
- Ward, Brian R. Dental Care. Franklin Watts, 1986.
- Wynbrandt, James. The Excruciating History of Dentistry: Toothsome Tales and Oral Oddities From Babylon to Braces. St. Martin's Press, 1998.