BALTIMORE, Maryland--The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry celebrated its 12th anniversary June 13 with the opening of three new exhibitions and a celebration of the national impact of its programs that educate the public about the importance of good oral health to overall health.
The exhibitions include Marvelous Mouth, the first exhibit at the Museum to focus on orthodontics; Modern Dental Office, featuring the latest dental technology available; and a new Brush, Floss, Rinse component to the Your Spitting Image exhibition that explores the mouth-body connection.
"We are excited that National Museum of Dentistry programs such as MouthPower Online and our traveling exhibitions are making an impact on communities nationwide," said National Museum of Dentistry Executive Director Rosemary Fetter. "The Museum fills an important role to educate the public about the importance of good oral health to overall health."
The National Museum of Dentistry's exhibitions and programs have been making an impact on site, online and across the country.
*This February, NMD partnered with the University of Maryland Dental School and the Maryland State Dental Association to host a Give Kids A Smile event. Close to 100 Baltimore City children came to the museum for with a hands-on exploration of the MouthPower oral health education program and free dental screenings.
* NMD launched a new oral health program for seniors in May called Your Marvelous Mouth: The New Frontier of Oral Longevity. Created in partnership with the Elderhostel program and supporting the ADA's Oral Longevity initiative, the day-long program drew more than 50 participants to Baltimore to hear nationally renowned experts speaking about the unique issues involved in oral healthcare in the 55+ population.
* MouthPower Online: an entertaining and educational web experience in which children can explore how to brush and floss, make healthy food choices, and steer clear of the pitfalls of tobacco--continues to make an impact nationally and internationally. It is being used to help everyone from Girl Scouts in Texas to children living in villages in Nepal learn how to take care of their teeth.
*The Museum introduced the MouthPower exhibition to its successful traveling exhibition program, which has brought exhibits to children's and science museums to 32 cities in 21 states around the country to date.
This has also been a year of awards for NMD. The Museum was honored for Distinction in Public Service by the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and received the Shils Fund Award for outstanding commitment to developing innovative and entertaining education programs for children, especially for the Museum's traveling exhibits and the MouthPower program.
Three exhibitions opened at the Museum in Baltimore in June:
Marvelous Mouth, an exciting new exhibition for pre-teens, explores the world of orthodontics in the Museum for the first time. Kids can explore how to take care of braces, how mouthguards protect teeth during sports, why oral piercings and tobacco use can lead to tooth trouble, and what careers are possible in the world of dentistry. The exhibition features a central interactive computer station where visitors can explore the Marvelous Mouth animated game guided by a friendly tooth who takes on the guise of game show host, stealth Mission Impossible spy, and hazmat crew member to humorously illustrate the world of pre-teen oral health care. The computer station is surrounded by a gallery featuring lively illustrated panels and hands-on models that explore braces, mouthguards, and the dangers of tobacco and methamphetamine use. Marvelous Mouth is made possible by Crest Oral-B.
Visitors can trace the evolution of dental technology at the Museum, from the 19th-century office of G.V. Black to the latest dental equipment available today. Modern Dental Office features a new state-of-the-art operatory that showcases the most technologically advanced treatment room in dentistry, illustrating how recent advancements have improved the quality and aesthetics of restorations while reducing patients' time in the dental office. The Modern Dental Office features high speed laser scanning technology to produce digital 3D impressions; a Waterlase MD that uses a combination of laser energy and water to perform many traditional dental procedures with less anesthesia; and a state of the art X-ray machine designed for imaging with digital sensors. The Modern Dental Office is made possible by Henry Schein, Inc.
A Brush, Floss, Rinse component has been added to the Your Spitting Image exhibition, highlighting the importance of oral hygiene and the mouth-body connection. The display features animated video about the effectiveness of brushing, flossing and rinsing to reduce germs from the mouth, as well as a deeper exploration of impact oral health can have on other conditions in the body, such as diabetes. Also unique to the exhibit is a sensory element that enables visitors to catch a whiff of bad breath vs. clean breath.
A traveling version of the Your Spitting Image exhibition will be created this fall and is slated to begin touring science and children's museums around the country in 2009. Visitors will be able to step into the role of a forensic investigator to solve mysteries, see what's in that remarkable fluid called saliva, and find out how scientists are using bioengineering to grow new teeth in a town near you. Your Spitting Image is made possible by Patterson Dental Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide, Planmeca, Drs. Leslie W. Seldin and Constance P. Winslow, Dr. Laurence E. Johns and Dr. Robert J. Wilson.
For more information, visit National Museum of Dentistry.