On August 7th, Smile Squad members volunteered and provided oral hygiene instructions at Chinatown’s National Night Out!
Thais Antunes (D20) reflects: “It was a great way to spend time in our own neighborhood and provide oral hygiene instructions. Dental students Thais Antunes ( D20), Simran Kaur (D20), Katie McKenna (D20), Samantha Parad ( D21), Lauren Lubowitz (D21), Pranali Vyas (D21), Husam Abu-Sneineh (D21), Alyssa Kotin (D21), Henry Hsu (D21), and David Alpert (D21) demonstrated proper brushing techniques using puppets. Flossing techniques were also taught using Legos. Children practiced wrapping the floss around their fingers and removing play-doh which resembled the food that gets stuck between our teeth after eating. The hands-on activity kept them intrigued as we taught them more about the importance of proper oral hygiene. We also asked questions like how often they brush and for how long. It’s a great way to promote good oral hygiene to the children.
This is a popular event that is held every year in Chinatown. It is organized by Tai Tung Village to unite the community. Many booths were present promoting healthcare and activities for the children and families. We even learned a few words in Mandarin to better interact and bridge the communication barrier. Luckily, we had one volunteer Henry Hsu (D21) who taught us several words and was able to communicate with those who didn’t speak English. Overall, this event was a great opportunity to interact with the community around us. We dental students are always busy in classes, lab, rotations, clinic and forget the need for care that exists right outside our doors. We hope to see a difference as we continue to educate our local community about the importance of oral hygiene!”