It’s a whole lot easier to get excited about oral hygiene when you get to brandish an oversized toothbrush like a sword—ready to take on the evils of plaque buildup and banish cavities for life with a flourish.

MouthPower logoIt’s a whole lot easier to get excited about oral hygiene when you get to brandish an oversized toothbrush like a sword—ready to take on the evils of plaque buildup and banish cavities for life with a flourish. At least that’s what I thought when I saw photos of a young tooth-brush wielding cowboy at the MouthPower exhibit, which made its first stop in Juneau earlier this spring.

MouthPower is a traveling exhibit targeted for children ages five to eight, (first to third graders) and guides young people in discovering the power of good oral hygiene through several learning stations—including a large-scale mouth and matching toothbrush.

Thanks to investments from Rasmuson Foundation and Southcentral Foundation, MouthPower has made its way to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. It will be on display inside the Imaginarium until August 30, 2010.

Visiting children and families can:

Build a Tooth: Build a tooth by turning colorful overlay pages in a tooth-shaped book

Let’s Brush and Floss: Practice brushing and flossing on an oversize mouth with king-size brush and floss.

Say No to Smoking: “Put out” the cigarettes to learn about the risks of smoking.

Tobacco = Tooth Trouble: Move a smile along a visual timeline to discover what tobacco use can do to a healthy mouth.

Start Your Food Adventure: Begin a lifetime of healthy eating with smart food choices from the new food pyramid.

Let’s Eat! Let’s Move! Explore how portion size and exercise builds a healthy body.

Join the Dental Team: Don clinic coats and become members of the dental team (dentist, patient, hygienist, and assistant) in a child-size dental office complete with chair and x-rays.

Play the MouthPower® Game: Explore an interactive computer version of the exhibition. The MouthPower Game is also available online.

The Anchorage visit is the second stop in MouthPower’s Alaskan tour. It was on display at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum from February to April 2010 and declared a huge success. Approximately 60 percent of pre-school to third grade children in Juneau visited the exhibit. Many thanks go to community partners in Juneau including the Juneau Dental Society, the South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Nationwide, MouthPower is sponsored by the National Museum of Dentistry and was developed with a grant from Colgate-Palmolive.

Has your family checked out Mouthpower? Tell us what you think.