U of A dental students work to remove oral health barriers at Sharing Smiles Day
Students in the University of Alberta’s Dentistry and Dental Hygiene programs have come up with a unique way to build relationships and foster trust with their future patients through Sharing Smiles Day.
The goal of the event is to bridge the gap between dental health professionals and people with developmental and physical disabilities.
“There’s a big need for future practitioners to understand this clientele and this population. The first thing we need to know is what struggles do they have with their oral hygiene,” said Navi Bharj, event co-chair and second year dentistry student.
The first-of-its-kind event included fun-filled activities in the morning and information sessions in the afternoon, including proper brushing and flossing and nutrition.
“I think if we can share a smile, see them in person, and do some fun activities with them, we can learn a little more about them and be better prepared to treat them as future clinicians,” Bharj said.
April marks Oral Hygiene month and officials say they hope to make the Sharing Smiles Day an annual event.
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