The L.A. Trust and Beyond the Bell have distributed more than 100,000 toothbrushes and other oral healthcare items to students and family members as part of Operation Tooth Fairy.
Los Angeles Unified School students are back on campus — and so are oral healthcare educators from The L.A. Trust.
Program Manager Esther Yepez and her kid-friendly puppet Billy visited Logan Street Elementary School in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles May 5. It’s the first of nine such trainings sponsored by a grant from QueensCare.
“Students were extremely excited to learn about the importance of why we brush our teeth and how cavities are formed,” Yepez said. “They learned about the germ called plaque that causes cavities.”
Good to be back
Yepez and Billy addressed four classes — one transitional kindergarten class, two kindergarten classes and one first-grade class. A total of 78 students received the instruction along with oral healthcare kits containing toothbrushes and Sesame Street brochures.
Executive Director Maryjane Puffer of The L.A. Trust said, “It’s good to be back in the classroom, teaching good oral healthcare habits to our kids.”
The L.A. Trust’s oral healthcare mission has continued during the pandemic, Puffer noted. Operation Tooth Fairy distributed more than $455,000 in supplies; The L.A. Trust’s kid-friendly oral health campaign on KLCS and social media reached an audience of more than 1.5 million.
The campaign has made celebrities out of Yepez and Billy. One student in the hallway recognized the pair from their appearances on KLCS. They appeared on the L.A. Unified TV station 150 times during the pandemic.