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."