August 8, 2013
York Technical College Dental Assisting Students Connect With Area Children To Promote Oral Health
ROCK HILL—Approximately one hundred pre-school age children, parents, and caregivers descended upon York Technical College for a fun and educational presentation highlighting the need for good oral health habits and regular dentist office visits. The Columbia Marionette Theatre performed “Flora and Floppy go to the Dentist” to a packed classroom auditorium in the Anne Springs Close Library on York Tech’s main campus. The 20-minute show follows Flora and her stuffed bunny rabbit as she visits the dentist office for the first time and learns that the dentist office is a place that helps her stay healthy.
Inspired by National Healthy People 2020 Oral Health Objective, this event was sponsored by the York Technical College Foundation through an Innovation Mini-Grant. The DHEC Oral Health Division and the South Carolina Dental Health Association, provided the interactive, marionette-style show designed to engage and entertain school-age children while teaching them key messages about how to maintain good oral health. While intended for all young audiences, the dental clinic made diversity a high priority and sought out underserved children who tend to be at greatest risk for developing cavities and gum disease.
Dr. Charles Crosby, faculty member and clinical supervisor at York Tech, was delighted with the turnout and spoke to how critical it is to start early. “Good habits start at a young age. Events like these are so important because they generate excitement and get children and parents focused on prevention.”
The beneficiaries of an event like this are not limited to children, parents and caregivers. For the York Tech’s dental assisting students in attendance, this is a service learning experience, giving them a chance to reach out to the community, supplementing their technical training with outreach opportunities. This is the “show-tell-do” method in action, says dental assisting student, Morgan Christopher. “This event really helps calm the nerves of the kids so they’re not scared to go to the dentist.” Dental Assisting student, Tania Pereira, adds, “I think the best part of the show for the kids was seeing Flora in the dentist chair, and being able to see, on a large scale, exactly what the dentist is doing inside the mouth.”
After the show, children were divided into groups and given a tour of the school’s dental clinic. Children were also given a goodie bag, which included coloring pages, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a mini hourglass timer to encourage proper duration of teeth brushing.
The Dental Technologies Program at York Technical College prepares students to become essential members of the health care system offering Associates of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene and Certificates in Dental Assisting. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.
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York Technical College / 452
South Anderson Road / Rock Hill, SC 29730