Monday, September 20, 2010

Dental Students Volunteer to Help Elementary Students

By David Staudacher, Rio Salado Public Relations Manager

School is back in session and students are back in the classroom. Unfortunately, some students are suffering from dental problems and finding it difficult to concentrate. To help alleviate the pain and keep kids attentive during class, the Rio Salado College School of Dental Hygiene recently hosted Give Kids a Smile at the college’s clinic in Phoenix.

“We partnered with an elementary school in our community and we treating students between the age 5 to age 12,” said Kathy LaVoy, an adjunct faculty at Rio Salado College. “We are providing X-rays, a doctor’s examine, our dental hygiene students are providing cleanings, and working with the children on education. They are learning how to take better care of their teeth, how to keep their teeth healthy, which will keep them healthy.”

During the event, Rio Salado’s dental hygiene staff and students treated more than 60 students from Tertulia Elementary School in Phoenix. Along with the cleanings and proper brushing and flossing lessons, the Tertulia students received a gift pack, which included a new tooth brush, toothpaste, floss and other hygiene items.

This is the second year Rio Salado’s School of Dental Hygiene volunteered to host the Give Kids a Smile event at its clinic.

“Students lose a lot of [classroom] time because of problems with their teeth,” said LaVoy. “We want to educate the students on how to take care of their teeth and prevent that from happening. We want healthy happy students in the classroom learning. We don’t want these little guys out because they have a toothache or a problem.”

Additionally, Rio Salado College’s staff members are encouraged to volunteer and students in the dental hygiene program also are provided with opportunities to give back to the community.

“My students are required to give at least 10 hours and his is one of the ways they give part of their 10 hours,” said LaVoy.

Among the dental hygiene students volunteering was Lindsay Sinica of Tempe.

“We are done with our semester, and [the instructors] asked us to volunteer to brush kids’ teeth and give them a cleaning,” said Sinica. “Some kids have never been to the dentist. If we get them at a younger age, they can stop cavities from happening and get good brushing habits early.”

According to LaVoy, the elementary students are getting more than just a cleaning at the event. If they have a cavity or other dental problem, they will be referred to a dentist.

“We don’t just clean their teeth and tell them how to brush them and leave them with the issues,” said LaVoy. “We provide avenues to refer them.”

At the end of the event, the Tertulia children weren’t the only students smiling when they left the clinic. The dental hygiene students said they were having just as much fun.

“I hope we can do it again soon,” said Sinica. “I wish we could do it all the time.”

To learn more about Rio Salado College’s School of Dental Hygiene, visit www.riosalado.edu/dental.

21 comments:

dentist fredericksburg va said...

I applaud their initiative. Medical volunteers are to be lauded as they help people in awareness and in practice about overall health.

Edmund Falkner said...

Indeed. It's a great move, for the students and the people receiving the assistance. On one hand, the overall dental hygiene of the people is improved thanks to this. On the other hand, the students get hands-on experience that will benefit them both in the present and in the future.

Kristen Marlin said...

It would be even better if they can somehow extend this program to the less fortunate in faraway places, who are in need of dental services the most. That would be a good learning experience for the students, as it would force them to step out of their comfort zones and expose them to an unfamiliar environment.

Marco Phillipstein said...

Extending help to elementary students that needs dental services is really commendable. I support any program that deals with promoting good oral hygiene.

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Debra Mennins said...

This outreach service by dental students is commendable and necessary. The dental students need the experience while the elementary students are taught the proper ways in taking care of their teeth.

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Dental Hygienist Schools in Atlanta GA said...

I think volunteering is great and think everyone should do it at some point in their life, it really gives you a different look on things. It worked out great for me I volunteered at a dental practice and now i'm a hygienist!

daniellaprice30 said...

This is a good charity work. They're able to help students and practice dentistry at the same time. cosmetic dentist Sydney

Oral B Toothbrush Heads said...

This sounds absolutely fantastic. The earlier we can help young people to develop good oral hygiene habits, the better. Keep up the good work!

Mrs. Mandy Catez said...

Its' good that these dental students volunteer to help out elementary students. Charity is the best policy.
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Maia Dobson said...

Giving free dental care to kids is such a good advocate. It would mean a lot for the kids to see the soon-to-be--professionals taking care of their teeth and teaching them how to keep oral hygiene.

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Valerie Phillips said...

This is a great event. Educating children about the importance of a good oral hygiene by dental students is an awesome cause. I do hope they would do this again.

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Rob (Coquitlam Dentist) said...

I think this is great! Oral health problems with kids can become a huge problem if not addressed early. Great program!

Geoff Granfield said...

I love the way this article was written in the sense that it can actually be read aloud to a kid who was technically the main focus of the dental clinic. We at the Dentist Buderim would like to mimic this effort. Cheers!

Luis R. PĂ©rez said...

Fantastic event, I enjoyed your post. Looking forward for more of your interesting articles.

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Wisdom teeth recovery said...

I love that events like this are organized. It is extremely important to educate everyone to improve their dental hygiene. Young people often don't care that much but when they are older, they wish that they would have cared more ...

Great article!

Clique Dentista SP said...

Here in Brazil we try to do things like that, i´m a dentist and i take part at a free emergency service called dentista 24 horas zona leste. Unfortunatelly we don´t have many resources or any help from govern but if everybody helps a litle bit, it will work at the end.

orthodontics services in Dublin said...

Yes, teeth problems are very general which can disturb your daily routine work. If you really want to alleviate your teeth pain, then you have to care for your teeth. You should brush your teeth properly at least twice in a day.

Subiaco Perth Dentist said...

Children as young as these elementary students should be educated on how to take care of their dental health. Fortunately, there is a group of dental students who are willing to volunteer to uplift this awareness and guide the children so the kids could enjoy their childhood by having healthy set of teeth. We are hopeful that other dentists like me could join in these kind of activity in the future.
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Paige Newton said...

From the University I've been, I had a couple of friends from the dentistry department who had undergone this project. They are giving away free dental check ups for students and other citizens. Now, one of them is studying neuromuscular dentistry since she wanted to widen her perspective.

Carl said...

This is a great initiative of the school and it actually hits two birds with one stone. The dental students can help those in need and they get to have a strong foundation by applying what they have learned in school. As a dentist Melbourne, I strongly commend this and good luck!

Sydney CBD Dentist said...

We hope that this will happen annually. Our children needs guidance in taking care of their teeth properly. Great initiative taken by these dental students! I am impressed.