Yomarie Colon is the Dental Care Coordinator at La Red Health Center, (LRHC) and is responsible for dental outreach in Sussex County.
Per Yomarie, “A healthy smile starts with healthy gums and healthy teeth. My goal is to reach out to parents, guardians and children to create awareness about the importance of keeping a child’s mouth clean, healthy, and cavity free. I also stress how important it is to maintain a balanced diet.”
At LRHC, the main focus is to increase awareness of how to prevent childhood caries for children aged 6 months to 5 years old. To do this, Yomarie breaks down barriers
by going out to different preschools, libraries, and offices dressed up as characters such as such as Bat Girl and Mickey Mouse from Fantasia 2000! It’s rumored that she even creates her own characters from time to time!
Dressing up as different characters helps Yomarie attract children and adults alike as they begin to feel more comfortable being around her. In this way, she can explain what she does and the importance of good oral health.
“Sometimes, I will read a book or talk to the children about cleaning and homecare in a way that makes it fun! After that, I will surprise them with costumes so they can dress up and act as dentists with the patient puppets that I bring along. I do this to teach them that going to the dentist is not scary.”
So what happens is that while playing dentist, the children will say “Hi” to Mr. Mirror and Mr. Counter. These are the two instruments used to count and check the patients teeth in the dental office. After that, the “dentists” will clean the patient’s teeth as we sing, color, and play various games. Obviously, the children and parents love it, and the children even come around for hugs and pictures!
Yomarie, also talks to parents and guardians about the importance of good homecare and the need to visit the dentist once every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. Sometimes, she even schedules appointments!
If you have any questions about the program or would like to schedule a visit at your school or office, please feel free to email Yomarie at YColon@laredhealthcenter.org
If you would like to schedule an appointment in the Dental Department, please call 302-855-1233 and follow the options for scheduling for DENTAL.