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!
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.”
On June 5, 2016, Smile Squad volunteered at the New England Health Fitness and Wellness Fair in Needham, MA. Lindsey Schiffman (D17), Sangita Murali (D18), Kevin Campbell (D18), and Andrew Lum (D18) provided oral health education and passed out dental kits to children and adults during the fair. The event was organized by the United India Association of New England and the Indian Medical Association of New England, and supplies were generously donated by Dr. Neela Gandhi and the Massachusetts Dental Society. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, as well as pamphlets containing information about oral cancer, dental caries, periodontal disease, oral health vs. systemic health, and pediatric dentistry were passed out to educate adults and get children interested in their oral hygiene. Over 200 attendees stopped by to learn about oral health! In addition, there were booths providing blood-sugar tests, and massages, as well as booths educating patients about optometry, sleep apnea, and nutrition.
Keep up the great work, Smile Squad!
On April 27, Maureen Favorito, RDH, a public health dental hygienist with Smart Smiles, participated in the Mildred Avenue School Health Fair for middle school students in grades 6, 7, and 8. Mildred Avenue School is a K-8 school in Mattapan, MA. The students and their families went to different tables to learn how to live a healthy life, such tables about nutrition, exercise, and dentistry! At her table, Maureen played Dental Jeopardy with the students and gave them toothbrushes and discussed Dental Careers with them. The Jeopardy Game was enjoyed by the students and kept them engaged and interested. Maureen shares more about her experience:
Elaine Conroy, RDH with TUSDM’s Community Dental Hygiene Team participated in the Higginson School Healthy Family Night sponsored by Boston Public Schools on May 17. This outdoor health fair consisted of tables staffed by different groups focusing on different areas of personal health such as a local health center, a nutritionist, and more. The students visited each table with their parents and learned what each table had to offer. Elaine talked about daily oral care and snacking with the aid of some oral health promotion tools – she gave toothbrushing demonstrations a dinosaur puppet and large toothbrush, displayed a Rethink Your Drink poster and Candy/Snack poster, and gave out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and some educational brochures. Elaine reflects on her experience and shares what she learned about how to make an event like this even more successful:
On May 20, D19s Tabitha Lewis, Kareema Roushdy, Michelle Kalil, and Jacqueline Liu visited the Walnut Avenue Community House in Roxbury, MA where they spent time promoting oral health to the underserved population of older adults living in assisted housing. Because of the oral health disparities and lack of access to care that plague older adults, the D19 community service committee has taken a significant interest in addressing their needs. The main goal of this oral health promotion event sought to engage and educate the guests of the home in proper oral health and preventive methods. They brought along a Senior Jeopardy board game to play and toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to distribute. Tabitha Lewis shares some wonderful words on her experience:
HSDA Tufts Chapter had the pleasure of working along side the Massachusetts HDA at the Martha Eliot Health Center Annual Heath and Safety Fair in Jamaica Plain on May 21 to teach children proper oral hygiene instructions, play educational games, and hand out toothbrushes to the local community. The fair encompassed all areas of health care which gave our members a great opportunity to learn about other organization in the area. From live music to firetruck tours, it is easy to say – they had a blast!
D19 Community Service has some great work planned with the Cardinal Medeiros Center in Bay Village, Boston, and it all starts with a Meet and Greet.
The Cardinal Medeiros Center (CMC) is a day shelter for men who are forty-five years and older. Several D19 students went to meet with the men on Monday, May 16th. They gave a short presentation about dentistry and how they plan to help the men and the center. Following the presentation, the men were given a crossword puzzle with broad dental terminology made by the D19 CMC committee and each person was given a goodie bag of oral hygiene supplies. Afterward, the D19s helped to serve food and enjoyed some lunch with the men of CMC. This Meet and Greet was a great opportunity to get to know the CMC patrons and build a relationship that will allow the D19s to continue to connect with them and provide them with meaningful oral health promotion and more in the future.
Abigail Manzella (D19), D19 Community Service Co-Director, shares her experience:
Smile, Share and Care is an American Student Dental Organization (ASDA) Tufts Chapter initiative dedicated to connecting future dentists with our community here in Chinatown. Every Monday, six students go to the local Wang YMCA to read oral health related books to the children. With the help of stuffed animals and games, Tufts future dentists show them that dental hygiene is fun and it starts now!