Washington outreach – March 2013

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Me and my colleagues are dental hygiene students, but also registered dental hygienists, who believe that more people need to be aware of the dental profession and its purpose. We worked together on a dental project consisting of 3 parts. Our main goal was to provide oral screenings and instructions to a target group of minor high school students in the Washington area.

We started off in Seattle where we gave presentations about our profession and the application process for dental school. The 65 students we reached in two different schools were very excited and curious which made this first part of our project rewarding and fulfilling. We had different work stations available that included hygiene instrumentation, restorative, anesthesia and oral hygiene. The second part of this project was more about education. We visited a drug rehabilitation home in Renton where we educated the people about the importance of oral hygiene. The topics that were discussed involved oral hygiene instructions, oral cancer screenings, nutritional counseling and oral lesions. We also made the link between drugs and oral health to highlight the consequences of their formal risky behavior.  That might stimulate them to stay off drugs.

Last, but not least, we presented at an adult family home where we educated the staff about the importance of doing regular oral cancer screenings. Other educational topics involved oral hygiene instructions, nutritional counseling and the oral and systemic link.

All of these events have been a great success and we very much hope to continue doing projects like this in the future. We are grateful to the Henry Schein Cares Foundation for their contributions in making this happen and express our many thanks!

Aji, Kah Jobe