Service Learning Project at Castle Hill Nursing Home
We educated caregivers of elders with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to raise awareness of different dental diseases/conditions they may be at high risk for (periodontal disease, caries, & xerostomia [due to side effects of many of the medications they may be on]). We used a PowerPoint presentation (Service Learning PowerPoint Presentation) as a visual aid, as well as a brochure (Service Learning Brochure).
Each of us presented a different topic in the presentation. I presented periodontal disease, explaining the implications & dangers of the disease, and how to manage/prevent it. I also taught proper brushing technique to the caregivers.
Fluoride Varnish Head Start Program
We performed free dental screenings and fluoride varnish application to children ages 3-5 while assessing the presence of caries and the need for emergency dental care.
‘Give Kids a Smile’ Event at Ronald Edmunds Learning Center
We applied fluoride varnish and gave oral hygiene instruction to children with ASD and their caregivers.
Many of the children were non-verbal, therefore they carried iPads with various icons/pictures that would tell the caretaker and myself what they wanted. For example- one of the children had a toothbrush symbol, and after giving him his oral hygiene kit with a toothbrush, he wanted to brush his teeth! We also used sensory aids and opened our mouths in hopes that they would mimic us and allow us to brush their teeth!
My experience at the Ronald Edmunds Learning Center gave me a better understanding with regards to the management of children in this spectrum.
Greater NY Smiles at the Greater NY Dental Meeting
A few of my colleagues and I worked the ‘tooth puppet booth’ at the Greater NY smiles event at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC. We also had dolls with typodonts attached which we used to demonstrate proper brushing technique. This was not only engaging for the children, but fun, too!