RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A 1,000 watt smile isn’t just for the camera. How white and clean teeth appear can indicate how healthy someone is.

On Saturday, about two hundred families went to the Poe Center in Raleigh for their annual “Terrific Teeth Day”. 

“How long do you brush, how many times a day do you brush?” asked Executive Director, Ann Rollins.

Those very important questions can now be answered confidently and correctly by kids who attended the educational and fun event. 

“My three-year-old is running around with her face painted,” explained Willem Lutter. “I think [my daughter] has probably learned to brush her teeth twice a day for two minutes… and to floss too.” 

Organizers are tackling tooth decay, one child at a time.

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were able to teach children how to clean their teeth in person. 

“It’s so important because our oral health is connected to our entire body and keeping our body well and healthy,” said Alaina Hart, Equity Director and Terrific Teeth Day Coordinator. 

Kids were able to make their own tooth fairy pillow and watch magic shows, while also getting a dental screening on the Colgate bus.

Parents told CBS 17 they hope their kids will pick up some good habits.

“I want them to be able to chew food as long as they can, so they don’t become like a grandfather who can’t chew nuts anymore,” laughed Lutter.

Educators said dental hygiene is also crucial for kids physical and mental health.

“Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of preventable diseases for children, and it’s the number one reason why children miss school,” explained Hart. “Long term tooth decay can cause problems if they’re not able to eat and digest their food properly, it can cause other issues.”

There will be another event on Saturday, February 18 from 9 a.m. until 2p.m., for kids up to 16-years-old. 

At the Salvation Army Center of Hope on Capital Boulevard, there will be free dental x-rays, exams, cleanings, fillings and more. 

To make an appointment, call 919-390-6497 to make an appointment.