brushing up

Think brushing your teeth twice a day is enough? Not, if you’re a Japanese elementary schooler. Each day after lunch the kids spent time polishing their chompers.  I had heard about it in training but none of my schools brushed their teeth after lunch, or I never noticed. But out here in Kagawa teeth brushing is a group activity. With about 5 minutes left of lunch, the kids pull out their tooth brushes and cups, and the song begins. The students are lead through the areas of the mouth to brush by a little jingle of a song. This is the same song for all 7 of my schools. I don’t understand every word, just left and right, and up and down. But that’s ok because the younger classes have older students come to guide them through the process. At the beginning of the year the school nurse had a giant mouth model and toothbrush to show the students proper brushing technique. At first I thought it was a little strange, but after brushing with the kids I really enjoy feeling fresh and clean after lunch. Proof that Japan likes to do everything together, they even turned toothbrushing into a team activity.

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