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The requirements for Dentistry merit badge were revised effective January 1, 1998.

  • Borrow X-ray photographs. Study the tooth structure. Look for decay. Then do the following:
    1. Use the X-ray as a guide to draw the lower molar. Label its parts and surfaces. Show surrounding structures such as bone and gum tissues.
    2. Show on your drawing where the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth.
    3. Show on your drawing where bacterial plaque is most likely to be found.
  • Do the following:
    1. Tell or write about what causes dental decay and gum disease. Tell what each of the following does: bacterial plaque, sugars, and acid.
    2. Show that you can teach others the proper use of a toothbrush, dental floss, and disclosing wafers to clean bacterial plaque from your teeth.
  • Arrange for a visit with a dentist. Before going, ask if you can be given a dental examination and a plaque- control demonstration. Afterward, ask questions about things you want to know. Then write a report on what the dentist does in a checkup examination.
  • Do TWO of the following:
    1. Name at least five instruments a dentist uses. On separate sheets of paper, draw them, label them, and explain how they are used.
    2. With the help of a dentist, prepare a dental plaster cast using a vibrator, mixing bowl, water measure, plaster measure, model plaster, spatula, and rubber mold.
    3. Keep a record of everything you eat for 3 days. Circle those that may provide sugars needed for the bacterial plaque to make acid. List snacks that you should avoid to maintain the best oral health.
  • Talk about all of the following. Then select one and prepare a written report:
    1. How fluorides help prevent tooth decay. The ways fluorides can be provided to the teeth.
    2. First aid for saving a tooth that has been knocked out.
    3. How the mouth is related to the rest of the body. Topics might include chewing, saliva, enzymes, nutrition, and speech.
  • Do TWO of the following:
    1. Make a model tooth of soap, clay, papier-mache, or wax. Using a string and a large hand brush, show proper toothbrushing and flossing to your troop or a school class.
    2. Make a poster on prevention of dental disease. Show the need for good oral health.
    3. Collect at least five advertisements for different toothpastes. List the claims that are made for each. Tell about the accuracy of the advertisements.
    4. Write a feature story for your school newspaper on proper care of teeth and gums. Show it to your counselor for approval.
    5. Make drawings and write about the progress of dental decay. Describe the types of dental fillings and treatments a dentist can use to repair dental decay problems.
  • Do either (a) or (b):
    1. Report on careers in dentistry. Report what you have learned.
    2. Prepare a four-part outline on jobs in dentistry. Under the headings "Dentist," "Dental Hygienist," "Dental Assistant," and "Dental Laboratory Technician" list the kinds of duties, education, costs of education, length of training, and other information to describe these jobs.
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