Decay: Angela Ensey Answers the Call
By day, Edmond native Angela Anne Ensey is a young, mild-mannered waitress who spends her spare time preparing for her wedding. But when dental danger calls, Ensey answers and assumes the identity of her alter-ego: Captain Supertooth.
Every January, Team Supertooth is unleashed upon Oklahoma Public Schools to combat the cavities that attempt to creep into children’s mouths. Each team is made up of captains, who teach young children (pre-kindergarten through the third grade) the importance of maintaining a healthy smile.
“The original Captain Supertooth program began in Boston,” Ensey said. “We have taken it, made it our own and revamped it to be more informative (and) more fun.”
The Captain Supertooth show is known for its fun and energy. “The show is really funny, interactive, full of energy and singing, clapping and dancing,” Ensey said. However, kids aren’t the only ones who get into the act. “Teachers laugh and enjoy the show just as much as the children. I see them clapping and singing right along with the kids.”
The Supertooth program shows kids the correct method of brushing their teeth and gums, understanding the importance of flossing, what happens when you don’t brush your teeth, why you should visit the dentist twice a year, and how to prevent bad breath. “If a child can learn any of these things, we have done our job,” Ensey said.
Even adults can benefit from the protective methods Captain Supertooth suggests for your teeth. Ensey said some adults have never heard that the correct way to brush their teeth is in a circular motion. “If nothing else, the program gives adults a way to explain the importance of dental care to children in words they can understand,” she said.
Perhaps most exciting for the kids who see Captain Supertooth is when toothbrushes are passed out. Children are also full of questions for the costumed crusaders. Ensey said, “They all want to know if I have brothers or sisters, what my parents are like, where I am from, what I like to eat for breakfast, can I fly?”
Teaching children how to prevent an invasion of cavities can be a busy mission for Team Supertooth. Their daily educational program runs more than 30 minutes and schools will usually allot three to five shows per day, for 30 to 60 children at a time. Members involved with the program will spend several months every year traveling to schools across Oklahoma, including Tahlequah, Edmond, Norman, Midwest City, Oklahoma City, Clinton, Checotah, Bristow, Purcell, Tulsa, Little Axe and Crescent. The Supertooth team outlook is simple: “Little towns and big alike, they all have teeth.”
The schedule for the program becomes especially busy in February, which is Dental Awareness Month. However, putting on a big, white smile is always important for Team Supertooth. “We try our best to maintain the magic of Captain Supertooth and the specialness of big black boots, 4-foot-tall toothbrush, cape and hood,” Ensey said. The students always love someone in costume and a huge molar-person is no exception.”
For the past three years, in addition to school functions, Ensey has appeared as Captain Supertooth at dental fairs, school functions and even at a Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Ark., to perform the program.
Other members of the Captain Supertooth team include John Howell and Cacky Poarch. Their aim is simple: to destroy all cavities, because “there are some really unhappy teeth out there!”
The work of Team Supertooth also compels its members live by the sacred creed they advocate. Captain Supertooth reminds children (and adults) to “Brush three times a day!”
The Supertooth program is free for schools through its sponsor and founder, Delta Dental. If schools are interested in booking Captain Supertooth shows before the end of the year, they can call Michelle DeLong at 810-9299 for more information.