In July, members from the D19 class volunteered at the Urban Edge Health Fair. Urban Edge is a local community development corporation who owns over 1,200 units of affordable housing for low income families throughout Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain. Our volunteers promoted dental health at the fair and had a blast with the communities in attendance through our giant dental jeopardy game. We let the children brush the teeth of our stuffed animal and game them pointers on how to brush well and helping them see what surfaces of the teeth they may be missing when they brush. We gave out oral health supplies to the attendees after making them work a little in the jeopardy game. We had such a blast there and are so excited to represent our Class and Tufts dental at their future health fairs! We learned how to get people excited and involved in learning about oral health through our jeopardy game. The community was so appreciative of our attendance at the health fair and one little girl even came running after us on our way out asking us to stay longer and come back the next day. It is always so fulfilling knowing we can make an impact in other communities both through oral health promotion and through companionship.
Smile Squad needs 3-4 volunteers for a public school event in Brookline on August 24th (1-4pm). We will be teaching groups of young students (K-8th grade) about visiting the dentist, cavities/diet, and proper oral hygiene. If you are able to attend, please sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/1OtyAdnDZSn5lR1O2
On August 20, Tufts Student National Dental Association (SNDA) was able to sort through over 100+ baby items and stock the shelves for families living in poverty. We plan on future collaboration with Room To Grow (Nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development) in supplying them with toothpaste and other needed baby hygiene supplies. We would like to find a way to get them the toothpaste they need via donation or a drive.
Room to Grow received a copy of “Everyone Smiles” to add to their book collection. As Patricia (Room To Grow Community Director) stated at the event: “–stats show that by the age of 3, children born into low-income families have heard roughly 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers.”
Overall, it was great to help out today with classmates!
On August 2, 2016, Smile Squad volunteered at the National Night Out at Tai Tung Village Courtyard. Ashley Wallace (D17), Andrew Lum (D18), Kevin Campbell (D18), Natty Reimers (D18), Lillian Pham (D19), Samuel Song (D19), and Gabrielle Lieberman (D19) provided oral health education to the local Chinatown community members. Through the use of Dental Puppets and Legos, the dental students were able to demonstrate proper brushing techniques and the importance of flossing. It also gave the children and their family members an opportunity to experience a fun, hands-on activity, which in turn helped facilitate and broaden their understanding. After properly demonstrating what they learned, each child left with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and even stickers!
The event, which was held across from Tufts Hospital, was organized by Tai Tung Village to enhance the overall sense of community and bring people together. Over 150 attendees stopped by different booths to learn about oral healthcare, diabetes, exercise, and community events. Although there was a language barrier which made communication difficult, we managed to utilize translation apps on our phones to convey simple dental knowledge such as: brushing for 2-3 minutes, and flossing everyday. Since many students commute from home outside of Chinatown, one can mistakenly look past the individuals in our own backyard who are in need of care. This made the event even more rewarding since we were able to connect and have a close interaction with the local community.
Written by: Gabrielle Lieberman (D19) and Andrew Lum (D18)
During these sessions, students meet with visitors from the local community to conduct oral health/ cancer screenings, demonstrate proper oral hygiene instructions, and help in referring out for further dental treatment. We will meet at 5:30 PM by the cafe near the main entrance of the hospital (ABP) and head out together on the Orange Line to St. Paul’s Parish in Malden.
Bring Loupes and clinic appropriate attire (scrubs or business casual).
Students from all years are welcome to volunteer!
If you’re interested in joining us, please sign up HERE.
Tufts AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) participated in Healthy Family Fun Night at Josiah Quincy School. Oli Giron (D18), AAPD Community Outreach Director, tells us more about his experience at the fair and what he learned about oral health promotion!
“This year was the first time that AAPD members volunteered at Family Fun Event at Josiah Quincy. I learned that it is much better to do outreach events at health fairs like this, which have an overall positive environment with music and physical activities and games. It really ingrains in the children a positive association between maintaining healthy habits and having fun while doing it. Continue reading AAPD at Healthy Family Fun Night at Josiah Quincy School→
On 06/04/16, 28 students from all classes at TUSDM volunteered with Tufts AADMD (American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry) at the Massachusetts Special Olympics Special Smiles hosted in Boston! This event was a wonderful opportunity for Tufts dental students to get out in the community and do some great work for the Special Olympics athletes. Swimmers fresh from the pool in their swim suits, runners with track medals hanging from their necks, and athletes excited from cheering on their friends stopped by the Special Smiles tent and visited multiple stations where students participated in a variety of roles including molding mouth guards, providing fluoride varnish, and performing dental screenings and providing proper oral hygiene instruction. Some were first-time athletes, many participated in multiple sporting events, and one pair of sisters have been coming to Special Smiles since it was founded in 1993! This was Tufts AADMD’s first year at Special Smiles but certainly not the last. Be sure to join us next year!
See more pictures of our volunteers in action here and here, and read on to see what some of the volunteers have to say about their Special Smiles experiences:
The Cardinal Medeiros Center, a center for homeless elderly in Boston, needs our help as they face relocation. Abigail Manzella (D19 Community Service Co-Director) has created a petition to organize support to ensure that the attendees of the center will continue to have a safe place to go to for food, housing, and case management. Please read on to learn more about the Cardinal Medeiros Center, how the center came to have a place in the heart of the D19 class, and how you can help!
“I have had the absolute pleasure of volunteering and providing oral health information to the homeless men at the Cardinal Medeiros Center in Boston for over six months now. Everyone at the center has always welcomed me with open arms and they have all become a second family to me.
Maureen Favorito, RDH, a public health hygienist with Smart Smiles, participated in the Winship Elementary School Health Fair in Brighton, MA on 06/03/16. Maureen brought along a Dental Jeopardy game , a Career Poster which was in the Career Room, toothbrushes, and stickers to teach the K-5 children about taking care of their health. Maureen tells us more about the health fair:
“The Winship School Health Fair was a fun event for the students in grades K-5th grade. The students went to different classrooms that taught the them how to live a healthy lifestyle. There was a medical room , an exercise room, a Health Career room and a Dental room. I read the book ” Nick and Kathy’s First Trip to the Dentist” to the Kindergarten and First grade students, and played Dental Jeopardy with the 2nd-5th grade students. The students all seemed to learn new things and have fun. I also gave each student a toothbrush and a sticker. Having age appropriate activities worked well. I gave the 2nd graders the choice of the book or game since they were at an age that could have benefited from either one. I was impressed with the 5th grade students and their dental knowledge.”