Maureen Favorito, RDH is a public health dental hygienist with Smart Smiles. She participated in Mildered Ave Middle School Health Fair located in Mattapan, MA. She educated middle school students how to improve their oral health with various games, activities, and goodies!
“I was part of the Mattahunt Middle School Health Fair on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. All students in grades 6,7, and 8 attended the Health Fair. My assistant Vanessa helped me. We played Dental Jeopardy and Discussed Dental Careers. The 6th and 7th graders were very interested, but the 8th graders did not seem as interested. I think the students all learned some new dental information about, especially how often to brush and floss and which foods are not healthy for your teeth.”
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has organized diverse volunteering events and opportunities over the weeks. Brian (Andy) Collins (D18) reflects on TWO events he had attended; Girl Scouts of Malden on April 27thand YMCA Health Kids Day on April 29th. Along with a group of other TUSDM students, they used tools to elicit a fun, engaging way to teach the importance pf oral care to children.
Girl Scouts of Malden (April 27): “Five TUSDM students (Keira Ginsberg D’19, Dan Allen D’19, Ervin Pejo D’20, Vendita Correia D’20, and Andy Collins D’18) volunteered at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, hosting a booth for the dental school. We talked to kids and parents about good oral hygiene and how to prevent cavities, and had dental-themed games and trivia.” YMCA Health Kids Day (April 29): “We taught a group of 7-9 year old Girl Scouts about teeth, cavities, dentistry, oral hygiene, and dental emergencies, and we worked through the requirements so the girls could earn their Dental Health patch. The volunteers were myself (Andy Collins, D’18), and Rayna Silva, D’20.”
On April 26th, 2017,American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) participated in the Boston Arts Academy Health Fair. Oliver Giron (D18) spent his day promoting good oral health and hygiene and he reflects, “The Boston Arts Academy health fair was an excellent event to reach out to a pediatric demographic that AAPD does not focus as much on. Typically, AAPD does outreach to a younger age group from preschool to middle school, but this event allowed the club to connect with enthusiastic and impressionable youth who are on the cusp of early adulthood. I was able to teach both students and parents about proper oral hygiene techniques and surprised them about the nutritional contents of their beverages. I also learned of the need for constant presence in the community, since a lot of other organizations approached the table in hopes of future collaborative efforts. It was a pleasant experience and definitely one to which AAPD should return. “
As I stepped foot off the plane, I could already see the need within the community in the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Haiti has endured several natural disasters and political instability. Within Haiti, there are approximately 300 dentists for 10.32 million people. After meeting with the dean at the University of Haiti dental school and hearing that, I was in shock. We are needed more than I could imagine, and our presence couldn’t be more welcomed. After arriving in the remote town of Leogane, I knew the people there most likely had not seen a dentist in a long time. We drove down a dirt road through several sugar cane fields just to get to our destination. When we arrived at the Rasin Foundation in Leogane on Thursday morning, there was a crowd of people waiting for us. This made me so happy because this showed that the town was very eager for our arrival and receptive to receiving oral care.
On April 29, 2017 our Asian Dental Organization (ADO) members helped promote oral health at the Women’s Lunch Place. The “Place” had begun in 1982 serving women with lunch while providing a safe, welcoming place of supportive day community. They seek to provide them with basic necessities and services that help restore dignity and hope.
Justin Chow (D20) shares his amazing experience, “Volunteering at Women’s Lunch Place was such a great experience. We provided toothbrushes and toothpaste as well oral health education to 28 women in the community. This was my first time interacting with patients in the community and I quickly learned how differently people viewed oral health care. Some women knew far more than most about brushing, flossing, and what dental care they needed, while other women just wanted the free toothbrush and toothpaste. No matter their knowledge we were able to educate these women on correct techniques to brushing. We also provided brochures to women who were seeking dental care and these brochures provided information about tufts and how to become a patient. Overall this experience was very eye opening and we will definitely try to set up more events like this in the future.”
Though postponed due to an earlier snow storm, this year’s Women in the Clinic Leadership Forum, was an amazing event thanks to our exceptional leader – rock star organizer Jackie Liu (D19)! With much support from Dean Thomas, Student Affairs and the Dept. of Public Health, the dinner event focused on empowering women to take leadership roles in the clinic, and also covered both rewards and the pitfalls surrounding this goal.
Highlights abound, including an impassioned call by Dr. Hanlon to become the next generation of female leaders in organized dentistry to remember that “patients are not points…and to be committed to their care every day.” Following Dr. Hanlon, Student Affairs Director Katherine Vosker explained the rights that students have in the clinic and who to go to in case of any uncomfortable incidences.
The evening continued with an amazing panel of D17s who shared their experiences and offered tips and wisdom for all the remaining female students. A special shout out to the fabulous D17 panelists: Poorna Phaltankar, Crista Fantone, Anna Bak, Brittany Bressler and Mansi Jailwala. The Q&A panel was moderated by Nancy Marks, and topics included gender issues, the interconnection between community work and clinic work, how to become a TA, assumptions about race, balancing didactic learning with clinic life and applying for jobs.
On April 21st , American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) gave an oal health presentation at Goodwill Massachusetts. Alexandra Naski (D18) reflects, “Kevin Campbell (D18) and I had a lot of fun giving an interactive oral health presentation to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities! We visited the group at Goodwill Massachusetts as a part of their “Healthy Living” themed month. We had around 30 participants show up. Everyone was very excited to have us there, and the group had a lot of questions for us on everything from “What are teeth made of?” to “What causes a cavity?”. The participants were especially interested in the models we brought that showed the progression of a cavity, and the posters showing snacks and drinks that are good vs bad for teeth. After we completed the presentation a few of the participants even chose to stay after and demonstrate their new oral hygiene knowledge on the models we brought!”
It’s great to hear how both our volunteers and participants had an amazing time filled with much enthusiasm learning about good oral health and hygiene!