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)