HDA Members Lead Team to 2nd Place in National Contest

HDA leaders Krysten Herrero and Elizabeth Betances lead team to Second Place in National Contest 

The Hispanic Dental Association launched Nuestros Niños, a Colgate-sponsored  national contest through Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) Chapters to address oral health care issues with Hispanic children under 6 years old.

D18s Krysten Herrero and Elizabeth Betances led the project with the guidance of Dr. Martha Forero and team: Ann-Marie Vu, Brandon Wong, Isamary Bernet, Yusleisy Camacho, Dr. Rocio Saavedra, and Dr. Leopoldo Correa. They developed an educational tool after evaluating what barriers Hispanic families are facing to finding dental care for their children, and then tested the prototype in the community.

Tufts HDA team developed “Sonrisas Sanas Son Salud,” a fun and colorful comic strip that educates parents and children on brushing and flossing habits, nutrition, dental visits, fluoride use, and the importance of parental supervision in home care. On the back of the comic strip is a 6 month calendar with space for parents to check off daily brushing and flossing, that will ultimately be revised by the child’s dentist. The tool is a fun visual aid that emphasizes proper oral hygiene, home care compliance, parental involvement, and the development of a dental home.

This year Tufts HDA Chapter won 2nd place in the national competition. Liz shares, “I had the honor of presenting our project to colleagues from around the country at the Greater New York Dental Meeting this past weekend. It was amazing to watch the presentations from other dental schools around the country, and to hear what the Hispanic Dental Association is doing to improve on existing disparities on oral health care. I was able to network with these students and faculty members, and exchange ideas for our chapters and our future careers.I am now newly inspired to continue HDA’s community services, and ensure that each project and event is making a significant impact on our community.”

Building student involvement, fostering civic engagement and enhancing community service to advance public health.