Volunteerism calls Ontario Dental Hygiene students to Health Fair
Dental Hygiene students at the SJVC Ontario campus are quick to pitch in when their community needs help with health education. One such occasion was a recent Community Health Fair held at a local Fontana park.
Dental Hygiene students Sherly Castro, Cindy Drierdrich, Yesenia Camerena and Jessica Lilly, and instructor Bernadette Smith, set up their SJVC booth, among about 20 other health services and products booths, to provide around 200 attendees with important healthy living information.
“A big part of being a Dental Hygienist is always educating the public and just helping them to stay healthy,” says Sherly Castro. “We want to guide them toward better oral hygiene and health.”
The fair was open to the public, and each booth provided information about nutrition, physical fitness, healthy lifestyles, and other helpful tips and support equipment.
“We (SJVC Dental Hygiene students) educated people about oral health; how to floss their teeth and brush properly,” says Sherly. “Most people do it wrong, just a lot of back-and-forth without getting in between their teeth. We used a model for adults and stuffed animals with ‘teeth’ for the kids that made it more fun for them.”
Those who came to SJVC’s booth also found out about the free services Dental Hygiene students provide to the public as part of their hands-on training. “We do X-rays, sealants, deep cleaning and fluoride treatment,” says Sherly, who made the most of her opportunity to introduce new patients to the college’s services. “It’s always about caring for our patients and helping them get healthy.”
Although Sherly has been a Dental Assistant for several years, she wanted the closer patient contact that becoming a Dental Hygienist would provide her.
“I wanted to be able to work more one-on-one with patients, to have my own patients,” she says. “As a Dental Hygienist, you get to work directly with patients and are a big part of the decision making.”
Each visitor was also happy to receive a free toothbrush…a soft toothbrush. Sherly emphasizes, “Because medium and hard brushes can be too rough and very damaging to the gums.”
Many people left that day with a much clearer understanding of the fundamentals of maintaining healthy teeth and gums – thanks to SJVC’s Dental Hygiene students.
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