The Doctor is in: Dental health

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(KTVI) - Did you know that there are kids right here in St. Louis who don't even have their own toothbrush?

Dr. Sonny Saggar talked to Shannon Hancock from Delta Dental and Elliot Weiler about that fact and the importance of dental health education.

You can also connect with Dr. Saggar, the Medical Director at St. Louis Urgent Cares, and ask him any questions you like via:

Sonny Saggar MD


1. Is it really true that some kids in town don`t have a toothbrush?

Yes unfortunately it is true. Some kids have no toothbrush and some kids have to share a brush with a sibling. I`ve brought back Shannon Woodcock, of the Delta Dental Health Theater, that does an amazing job educating kids (and adults) about the importance of dental health. I`ll let her address what`s being done about it.

This is a tragic situation, but it rarely gets the spotlight, so I want to thank KPLR for bringing it to people`s attention. We hear this all the time at the theater. One day I was handing out the Healthy Smile Kits after a show and I had one little boy so excited to get a toothbrush because he wouldn`t have to share with his brother anymore.

2. What is the current state of oral health among area children in the bi-state region?

It`s not as good as you might think.......tooth decay is the leading chronic childhood disease in America. Health Literacy initiatives and prevention are continuously underfunded. You wouldn`t believe how many parents believe they don`t need to fill a child`s cavity because it will just fall out anyway. As soon as you tell them that cavity is an infection in their child`s mouth you can literally see their expression change. The same is true with food that affects our oral health.
Did you know there are many people (and not just children) who believe that so-called `fruit-snacks` like this are actually fruit?

3. If kids aren`t being educated on health through their parents or school, where do they learn the facts?

This is where our mission comes into play. We are continuously in efforts to partner with schools and organizations to bring health education to children and their families. The only mandate in Missouri surrounding health is 150 minutes of physical activity per week and that includes a 50 minute once a week PE class and 20 minutes of recess each day. While our primary focus is on oral health we also incorporate aspects of a healthy life style including proper nutrition and physical activity. We are also working to expand our programming to include ALL health topics relative to leading a healthy life.

4. If an individual doesn`t have his/her own toothbrush what do they do?

First of all, they can come to the theatre and see a show and every child leaves with a Healthy Smile Kit, most dentists give out toothbrushes with a checkup and cleaning which we highly recommend individuals having a dentist and getting a checkup and cleaning every six months. Lastly, toothbrushes are one of the cheapest and easiest tools to combat tooth decay even the dollar store will sell them in packs of 4. So pick up a pack and make sure you change your toothbrush every 3 months and especially after you have had a cold or infection.

5. How is the theatre working to address these issues?

The Delta Dental Health Theater realizes the connection between our oral health and overall health.

● We educate children on the importance of taking care of their smiles
● We provide them with the tools to take care of their smiles at home
● We are working to expand programming with a very fun, interactive HealthWorks! model that will provide multiple opportunities for kids to come back time and time again and learn something new about their health every time.

So please consider making a donation at or calling me at the Theatre 314-241-7391 for sponsorship opportunities.


St. Louis Urgent Cares has 4 locations in St. Louis:

  • Downtown Urgent Care
  • Eureka Urgent Care
  • Creve Coeur Urgent Care
  • North City Urgent Care


You can also connect with Dr. Saggar, the Medical Director at St. Louis Urgent Cares, and ask him any questions you like via:

Sonny Saggar MD




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