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

Written by: Elizabeth Betances (D18)

The Hispanic Dental Association launched Nuestros Niños, a Colgate-sponsored contest through Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) Chapters to address oral health care issues with Hispanic children under 6 years old. Students are to develop a creative program, tool or educational instrument based that educates on the importance of dental care, good oral hygiene habits and dietary advice. Mothers of the children are to be involved in the testing and refinement of the program. This nationally held competition allows for one submission per chapter.

Designing this tool consisted of evaluating what barriers Hispanic families are facing to finding dental care for their children, develop a tool that would assist in overcoming that barrier, and then testing the prototype in the community. Tufts HDA team developed “Sonrisas Sanas Son Salud,” a fun and colorful comic strip that educates parents and children on brushing and flossing habits, nutrition, dental visits, fluoride use, and the importance of parental supervision in home care. On the back of the comic strip is a 6-month calendar with space for parents to check off daily brushing and flossing, that will ultimately be revised by the child’s dentist. The tool is a fun visual aid that emphasizes proper oral hygiene, home care compliance, parental involvement, and the development of a dental home.

This year Tufts has won 2nd place in the national competition and was invited to present the prototype for Colgate-Palmolive in New Jersey. The Tuft’s Hispanic Dental Associate has also won recognition and a monetary prize. Elizabeth Betances and Krysten Herrero will be presenting the prototype in early February.

Our team consisted of : Krysten Herrero (D18), Elizabeth Betances (D18), Ann-Marie Vu (D19), Brandon Wong (D18), Isamary Bernet (D18), Yusleisy Camacho (D18), Dr. Martha Forero, Dr. Rocio Saavedra, Dr. Leopoldo Correa.

Written by: Elizabeth Betances (D18)