Ann Arbor, MI — August 28, 2015 — A group of dental students representing the Hispanic Student Dental Association at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry recently won a first place award for their outreach and education efforts designed to help improve the oral health care in the Hispanic community. The group won the Orgullo Award (“orgullo” means “pride” in English) during the Hispanic Dental Association’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The U-M group’s outreach efforts during the past year included providing oral health care to migrant workers in the southern Michigan community of Blissfield, a community health fair in Pontiac, and two health fairs at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor. The dental students provided screenings which were supervised by clinical faculty members from the School of Dentistry.
Oral health education activities stressing the importance of good oral hygiene were offered to adults and children. Part of the education initiative also involved producing a short video. The video, “La Salud Oral de tu Hijo” or “Your Child’s Oral Health,” targets Spanish speaking mothers of young children.
“We made the video because we learned at our health fairs that it is has beeen the mothers who tend to ask us the most questions about their children’s teeth,” said Carlotta Fantin-Yusta, a second-year dental student. “The kids we have met have been so enthusiastic about brushing, but sometimes lack the skills or knowledge to do so effectively. We want to take advantage of that enthusiasm and empower the mothers to educate their children at home.” Watch the video:
Fantin-Yusta wrote the script and narrated the video. Adalene Chabon (D3) developed the professional and informative paper props in the video.
While students are not required to speak Spanish to join the Hispanic Student Dental Association, having Spanish speaking members in the group has helped the organization communicate with patients, many of whom are referred to local dentists when they need urgent care.
For winning the national competition, the U-M Hispanic Student Dental Association received a $700 check from Proctor and Gamble.