On May 17th, D21s Tiara Felder and Le Truong volunteered at Tufts Smart Smiles, a program promoting oral health care for children at the Josiah Quincy School in Boston.
Tiara Felder reflects: “I could never have anticipated the excitement and eagerness that the children of Josiah Quincy Elementary School had with their interests with oral health. Every little one ran up to the Tufts Smart Smiles booth ready to play the oral health trivia game. It amazed me how many facts they already knew. It was even more impressive that they were willing to learn new things about their oral health. It truly warmed my heart when the children came up multiple times to challenge themselves with the questions. These moments made me realize how important it is to impact children early. The things that they learn early will stick with them forever if they learn in fun and innovative ways! I definitely look forward to seeing their smiling faces again!”
On April 20th, AAPHD volunteered at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program–an organization aimed to provide and create opportunities for health care for the homeless in the greater Boston area.
Ceonna Parran (D19) reflects: “AAPHD had an amazing time volunteering at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Activity Night. We brought activities provided by the Public Health office and truly made a difference. The patients thoroughly enjoyed playing dental jeopard, wheel of fortune, and Jenga. The volunteers who attended the community service night were able to see the patients who participated dental IQ increase and our hearts smiled. “
On March 9th, members of The Academy of General Dentistry volunteered at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts in Boston, MA. They were able to discuss oral health care promotion and nutritional information related to dental health.
Dylan Batlle (D21) reflects: “We learned that the performing arts student were interested in having good oral hygiene habits. They were curious and receptive about how much sugar is in drinks and certain foods. This helped them be mindful of the effects it can have on their dentition. It was a unique opportunity to reach out to people close to our age and teach them. Volunteers present included: Jonathan Batlle, Luke Devaney, Colleen Oleynik, Lauren Lubowitz, Alyssa Kotin and Katie Murphy. “
HPSP members Keith Nguyen, Patrick McLaughlin, and Brent Mullen volunteered with The Mission Continues in Lowell, MA at the Hampshire Street Garden. Keith’s wife Sarah and little one Eisley also joined them. They had an extremely fun and rewarding day as they helped build a new shed, assembled and filled garden beds, spread wood chips, and planted perennials. After working, they attended the community BBQ with local residents.
HPSP members will be volunteering with The Mission Continues for future projects. Anyone interested in volunteering with us can e-mail Brent Mullen (Brent.Mullen@tufts.edu) for more information!
HDA members Stephanie Alvarez, Sandy Lopez, Gloria Enjuweh, Jonathan Josephs, and Chris Lucido, along with faculty member Dr. Mahnaz Raissi volunteered at Chestnut Park Assisted Living at Cleveland Circle in Brighton on March 10, 2018. The audience consisted of about 15 senior citizens that were all very eager to learn about keeping a clean and healthy smile!
Stephanie Alvarez (D20) reflects: This was my first-time volunteering at an assisted living facility. I prepared a brief presentation on oral hygiene and dentures, with the help of my classmate Sandy Lopez. I did not know what to expect from our audience, but I was very excited to learn what the needs of this community were, and how we could assist them. The residents of Chestnut Park were extremely engaged in the presentation and games and had a lot of questions for us! As I reflect on the experience, I realize how this opportunity was beneficial prior to entering clinic, as my patients will too, have many questions regarding their oral health. I was required to think on my feet and recall many things I have learned in dental school to date. It was great to see us working as a group to answer some of the audience’s questions. Having Dr. Raissi there to assist in answering some of the more difficult ones was a great help!
Sandy Lopez (D20) reflects: “I hope that we can continue volunteering with this population because it will better prepare us when we enter clinic. For our next visit I hope we can provide the residents with more visuals on how to care for their teeth and their dentures.”
Volunteer with AAPHD on April 26th between 9 AM and noon by presenting basic oral health information to the newly immigrant and refugee population in the Greater Boston area at the Irish Immigrant Center! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are interested!
On April 20, a group of TUSDM students volunteered at the St. Francis House and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program to pass out free dental supplies and discuss the importance of oral health care. The St. Francis House is the largest day shelter in Massachusetts and work to serve the homeless.
Evan Gallegos (D21) reflects: “We were able to apply the communication skills we learned in IDP and OHP during this event. Many homeless individuals were able to acquire oral hygiene products they wouldn’t normally have access to. Omar Garcia and Noopoor Akruwala other D21s helped with providing the products to the community.”
Smile Squad members attended the Healthy Kids Festival Saturday March 24th. This event is held every year at the Boston Children’s Museum. Check out some of their reflections below!
Thais Antunes (D20) reflects: “Our new D21 members were eager to interact with the children even though it was during finals week. It was a huge success and the children once again were excited to see what our table had to offer. All members gave oral hygiene instructions to the children and families using the puppets, toothbrushes, and instructional activities. All the children received a fun Smile Squad goody bag with oral hygiene supplies that will motivate them to keep brushing and flossing at home. Smile Squad members were impressed at how each child approached our table differently yet after some time most were happy to show us their brushing technique. This is a great way to lead off our “tell, show, do” approach. Once a child shows us how they brush, we tell them how well they are doing and how they can improve and then we assist them in practicing the correct technique.
Lauren Lubowitz (D21) reflects on her experience, “Volunteering at the children’s museum with Smile Squad was an awesome experience. We were able to teach children as young as a few months old to brush their teeth and take care of their mouths. One of my favorite parts was seeing a young girl who was too nervous to come up to us, changing her mind and have a really good time brushing the puppet’s mouth with our jumbo toothbrushes. I was swamped with exams and being able to interact with the children and their parents was an important reminder of why I wanted to be in dental school in the first place. Smile squad events allow me to interact with not only the children of the Chinatown community but also the greater Boston area”.
D20’s: Thais Antunes, Simran Kaur
D21’s: Yara Abdelnabi, Sumra Akhlaq, Chanice Thomas, Jason Saraf, Rachel Young, Paula zaman, Christopher Yu, Lauren Lubowitz, Chung Park, Lema Salem
On Friday May 4th and Saturday May 5th, TUSDM will be hosting our Second Annual Give Kids a Smile Event. WE NEED YOU!!!!!!!
We are looking for staff and faculty to fill volunteer positions from 9 am to 1 pm both days. You can do one day, or both days. In addition to a great T-shirt commemorating your contributions, you will have the joy that comes with giving back to children in the community whose families don’t have the resources to pay for dentistry. We hope you can join us!
Here is the link to an online sign-up sheet. https://goo.gl/forms/2feVYhOcaK1b8iCH3
On April 14, a team of 50 faculty, staff, and students will be participating in Tough Ruck, the Boston Marathon Ruck March. Organized by Brent Mullen (D20) and Keith Nguyen (D20) the event is a 26.2 mile course where each participant will be carrying a 15 or 35 lb rucksack. The team will be carrying over 750 lbs of canned food goods and bags of rice, which will be donated to the New England Center and Home for Veterans at that end of the of the march! They have also raised over $10,000 for local military families in times of need.
Their team needs a few more volunteers to support us in our mission! They’re looking for people to either come in the morning to help with parking or in the evening (5-7 PM) to help with taking apart the finish line. The whole team will greatly appreciate it!