Healthy Teeth/Healthy Body Project

Healthy Teeth/Health Body Initiative off to a great start!

During the past two Friday afternoons, TUSDM students have been involved with a pilot program teaching elementary kids about tooth decay and good nutrition from the Red Oaks After School program, located in the Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown. Working with project advisors, Nancy Marks and Kathryn Dolan, the students designed and executed lesson plans that included games and activities geared towards these topics.
On Friday 4/10, Anjalee Shah (D16) and Olga Raptis (D16), along with Dental Central Rep for the project, Will Chao (D16), visited the kids to teach them about tooth decay and good oral health. The session began with Olga enthusiastically reading a book about tooth decay and visiting the dentist while Anjalee and Will helped engage the kids. Afterwards, they played a game of “Pin The Bacteria On The Tooth” which involved spinning the kids in circles and having them place magnets of bacteria onto a magnetic tooth board. The kids loved the game! For the last activity, the kids showed off their creativity with an arts and crafts project where they made their own mouths– with 10 teeth on the bottom and 10 on the top– by gluing on colored pieces of paper onto a paper plate.
The following week, Anjalee and Will returned to Josiah Quincy to teach the same students about maintaining healthy teeth and a healthy body. Anjalee read a book to the classroom while Will acted out the story with puppets. The kids then got to play a fun game where they picked a snack from a bin and placed it into another bin across the room while acting out how they thought it would make them feel if they ate it. There were kids running, skipping, and slumping around! In the end, the kids got to do another arts and crafts session where they drew in healthy food items into a body outlined on paper.
This upcoming Friday, we will return to the school to have the children make posters of what they learned. It should be a great way to reinforce some of the main themes that were emphasized during the prior visits. In the future, members of the AAPHD, Smile Squad and AAPD will be going into other afterschool classrooms  after evaluating this pilot run.
Pics from the events are attached. If you want to find out more about the project, please contact: Amy Albright, Khusbu Patel, Olga Raptis or Anjalee Shah.

IB Biology Students at Josiah Quincy Upper School Need Volunteers!

The recent discovery of the teixobactin producing microorganism through use of the new culturing technology has many students highly interested in their projects, and a recent proposal from the Tufts sequencing center means that the students might be able to genotype the bacteria they discover, and possibly find a novel JQUS bacteria for whole genome sequencing, which would provide the platform for Josiah Quincy IB class research for years to come.
The nature of this IA lab design and follow through is that the teacher cannot be guiding the students beyond a point.  Since the rules say that help from outside sources (parents, etc.) is not forbidden, and since we have the generous gift of support from an elite science research institution, this means that your help gives our students a tremendous boost.  All levels of help are a huge boon to our student's success: from helping them to come up with improvements to their experimental design, to proofreading their hypothesis statements, to helping them analyze confusing data, and making suggestions for follow-up experiments. Some volunteers last year came for one 45 minute period and some came multiple days in a row.  Some worked with many students, and some mentored a single student. 
If you can commit to helping the seniors at JQ Upper School sometime in the next three weeks, send an email to Ian Warner at In-person support would be preferred at the time of IB classes during the week school hours), or Ian will connect potential mentors who are not able to join them on campus with a student who is eager to get some personalized help via email. Please contact Mr. Warner with any further questions.

Student Leaders Join Together to Launch Healthy Teeth/Healthy Body (HTHB) Project for Children in Chinatown

This winter, TUSDM’s Dept. of Public Health applied for and received a grant from the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy® (NCOHF) to run a Healthy Teeth/Healthy Body (HTHB) oral health education program.  Based on the idea that active participation in learning is a key component in the internalization of information leading to behavior change, the project also boasts a Poster Contest for all K-8 graders as a way to deepen their engagement with the material.

Key to the success of the grant was identifying student groups and leaders who would commit to the project.  D16 Student leaders from Smile Squad and the Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD)—Amy Albright, Khusbu Patel, Olga Raptis, Anjalee Shah began meeting with Nancy Marks, Community Service Learning Coordinator and Prof. Kathy Dolan to spear-head the planning efforts and to assemble a broader team of students to make the project a success. 

Last week, the full HTHB project team met for the first time. In addition to the leadership team, students in attendance included: Tracy Tchintchin, D18, and D16s: Sibel Ardit, Will Chao, Mia Harlan, Riley Baldwin, Heidi Kunkel, Monica Hanna.

Will Chao, Dental Central rep for the project summed up the meeting: “On Friday 3/27, members of AAPD, AAPHD, and Smile Squad met to brainstorm ideas for the Healthy Teeth/Healthy Body outreach program planned for elementary and middle school children at Josiah Quincy and other potential sites in Chinatown. Over Chinese food, the volunteers broke into small groups to design lesson plans and games covering the following topics: healthy eating, tooth decay, oral hygiene instruction, and mouth guards/sports.  Laid out were the great activities made by other TUSDM students on the Creative Team—Oral Health Jenga, three different Jeopardy games, and gum/tooth floss dress up game for kindergarteners — created by members of the TUSDM Creative Team. 

Each group then presented their ideas to the whole group, receiving feedback from their peers and project advisors and discussed ways to overcome the challenges of designing an effective and engaging lesson plan for children. There was a lot of great energy in the room.”

If you want to find out more about the project, please contact: Amy Albright, Khusbu Patel, Olga Raptis or Anjalee Shah.

Aekta Patel (D18) Reflects on ASDA’s Smile, Share and Care Program

 Volunteers for Tufts ASDA's Smile, Share, and Care program make weekly trips to the Chinatown YMCA to educate preschool-age kids on the importance of oral hygiene. Volunteers often read books, ask questions, and color with the children while highlighting correct toothbrushing and flossing techniques. The Smile, Share, and Care program's mission stems from the importance of starting children early in their lives with proper dental hygiene and oral care.

The ASDA Smile, Share, and Care Volunteering opportunity was a great way to promote dental health to a young group. I went to the YMCA with a few other dental students, where we read a book to two classrooms of preschool children. Then, we asked the children a few questions, such as 'How many teeth do children have?' Their answers varied from 1 to 50, but eventually they figured out the correct answer. Whoever got the answer got a chance to brush Flossy the Flossasaurus’ teeth, and we taught them to brush in a circular motion and clean the tongue. I volunteered twice, so I got to see how much information the children had retained from before. When we asked how many teeth children have, the children came up with the right answer right away! My favorite part about the experience was when a girl cried and hugged Jimmy Assad (one of the other volunteers) when we were about to leave."

Volunteer today! Mission Hill Health Fair, Saturday April 18th

9500c02f995541a9a1408b54d55d703aEach year TUSDM students join the Mission Hill Fair to provide dental education
for this under-served community. We are looking for 4 students to host our table from for approximately 11-3 (split shifts are fine!). And this year, students will have a range of new activities and games to use, thanks to the TUSDM creative team! To sign up, email Nancy at

D16 Mandy Alamwala: Moving on up!

34 Professional Head Shots

Special congratulations to our very own Mandy Alamwala (D16) for becoming ASDA's District 1 Trustee. 

District 1 consists of Boston University, Harvard, Tufts, University of Connecticut, and University of New England. 

Mandy was elected to this 2015-2016 national leadership position at the American Student Dental Association's annual session in February.  With this position, she will serve on the Board of Trustees and play an important role in achieveing the association's goals for the coming year.  She will also guide chapters in district-wide activities and work to connect members with resources from ASDA National as well as a multitude of other stakeholders in dentistry. 

We are very pleased to have Mandy representing us in such an important leadership role.

For more information visit:

The D18s Join Dental Central!

D18 photoWe are proud to announce the addition of the D18 class to Dental Central! Written by D18 Dental Central Representative Aekta Patel, the page has some great info on the class' mission and goals, as well as an in depth look at their E-board and some "D18 Class MVPS." Click here to read their page and see what they've been up to!

Dental Central at ADEA!

IMG_0656This past Monday, the Dental Central Team [Nancy Marks of the Public Health and Community Service Department, Mandy Alamwala (D16), and Justin maillet (D17)] presented a poster on Dental Central at the ADEA Annual Session. The poster, titled "Dental Central: Enhancing Student Engagement and Community Service at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine," showcased how effective the site has been at promoting community service and communication between student groups over the past year. Click here to read our poster!

Volunteers Needed!

dental-impressions2 volunteers to take impressions on May 2 from 10-2 in Weston, MA.  Sponsored by The Weston Emergency Reserve Corps in conjunction with the Free Masons of Massachusetts.
The event is called ‘My Chip’ and is a childhood identification program which includes a tooth bite impression, a DNA mouth swab, a digital photo and a brief video as the child, if old enough, answers a few questions. (All of this becomes the property of the parents.)  
Please contact Nancy Marks at if interested.

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