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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Franny Flossisaurus & Mr. Gross Mouth Oral Health Teaching Kits- Archived Summary

Practice Number: 33008
Submitted By: New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services
Submission Date: March 2002
Last Reviewed: March 2002
Last Updated: March 2002
Best Practice Approach Example -
Due to the overwhelming requests for oral health education programs and the limited available professional staff, teaching kits that could be used by teachers, school nurses, parent volunteers and allied health professionals were assembled by the Regional Preventive Oral Health Programs in New Jersey. The Franny Flossisaurus teaching kit was introduced in September 1994 and the Mr. Gross Mouth kit was introduced in September 1996. Franny Flossisaurus is a puppet teaching tool for Pre-K through grade three. It features a large magenta-colored dinosaur and a variety of teaching materials including four videotapes with teachers' guides, three books, a large demonstration toothbrush, puzzle, and Play School dental office. Mr. Gross Mouth, a teaching model, targets students in grade four through eight and addresses tobacco use, periodontal disease and mouth guards. The centerpiece of the teaching kit is a model showing the effects of tobacco on tissues of the mouth. Both kits are loaned to pre-schools, schools, day camps, after-school programs and faith-based organizations. Evaluation forms are included in both kits and are to be completed by the appropriate school or agency contact and returned to the Regional Oral Health Program. The Franny Flossisaurus kit costs $350 and the Mr. Gross Mouth kit costs $280. To mail an assembled kit costs approximately $6, with a maximum postage expense of $46 to begin a loan cycle each year. Approximately, $300 per year is needed to replace broken, worn-out or lost pieces from the kits. Currently, over 10,000 students/year receive oral health education through use of these teaching kits. This practice of lending the teaching kits to integrate oral health education results in an increase of 50% more students educated annually than if Regional Preventive Oral Program staff alone presented an oral health education program. Evaluations completed by those who utilize the kits are positive. Respondents indicate that the teaching materials, lesson plans, audio-visuals and handouts are very good to excellent. They also indicate that the kit is helpful in preparing oral health activities that are age-appropriate, educational and engaging for their students.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Deborah Tracy, Regional Oral Health Coordinator, Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, Inc., 238 East Broadway, Salem, NJ 08079, Phone: 856-935-7711 x. 5, Email:
Mary Ann Hanus, RDH, Regional Oral Health Coordinator, Central New Jersey Maternal and Child Health Consortium, 501 Hoes Lane, Suite 206, Piscataway, NJ 08854, Phone: 732-699-0944