UMass Dartmouth students, who are part of the Pre-Dental Society, have planned several presentations at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford (166 Jenney Street) to promote oral hygiene among the region’s young people. The presentations will take place April 4, 11, and 25, from 3-4 p.m., and be geared toward proper brushing and flossing technique, facts about brushing and flossing, personal stories about tooth loss/breakage/decay, the process and cost of restoring teeth, as well as facts about how diet can dramatically impact oral health.
“The ultimate goal of these presentations is to send youth home with compelling reasons to want to care for their teeth and the resources to do it,” Pre-Dental Society President and Pre-Med Certificate Candidate Kellie Pacheco ’16 said. “We will also incorporate a discussion of basic biological and chemical aspects of the mouth such as basic anatomy of the tooth, what elements make up the tooth, how to support a healthy pH in the mouth, and how specific foods/drinks/sweets and drugs interact chemically with teeth and gums.”
Throughout February and March, the student group held a Smile Drive to collect donations of oral health products for low-income children and families, which resulted in a generous supply of 364 toothbrushes, 144 floss cartridges, and 288 small toothpaste tubes. All of the donations from their Smile Drive of toothbrushes, floss, etc. will be distributed to the children at the end of each presentation this April.
Every year, the Pre-Dental Society plans to hold a Smile Drive to support our oral hygiene presentations. The group’s goal is to reach out to the underserved and to promote oral health awareness as part of a national preventative care effort through America's ToothFairy. In addition, the club offers a unique way for students to explore the field of dentistry and demonstrate leadership skills and dedication to promoting health in the community.