Spring 2015

Fun with Oral Health

A dentist’s alternative to ‘Elf on the Shelf’

It started when Gina Collins Mancini, D00, a family and cosmetic dentist in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and a mother of five, was asked to speak at her son’s school during Dental Health Month. She brought the generic posters and handouts about brushing and flossing, but the kids were less than enthralled.

300W_Tabitha revWhat she needed was a character, she decided. So she wrote a play about Tabitha the Tooth and her life in Smile City. She and her staff donned tooth costumes and took the show to schools around the area, this time with enthusiastic receptions.

Now Tabitha and her friend Tanner are the heroes of two children’s books written by Mancini and published in January by Mascot Books. She hopes they will help parents and dentists teach kids, ages 2 to 9, about caring for their teeth. Gift sets come with plush Tabitha or Tanner dolls.

Mancini is already at work on the further adventures of Tabitha and Tanner. What happens when Tabitha loses a tooth? Will Tanner need to brace himself for braces? Stay tuned. —Julie Flaherty

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