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Students teach primary school children oral health skills

27 October 2017
Dentistry students teach school kids oral health skills

Bachelor of Oral Health students taught public school children dental hygiene skills and provided oral health screenings as part of the Carevan Sun Smiles program.

School Children at Homebush West Public School today received a free dental screening and fluoride varnish application from second and third year Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) students from the Faculty of Dentistry.

The day was organised as part of the Carevan Foundation’s Sun Smiles program which aims to improve children’s oral health and provide access to dental care.

Second and third year BOH students educated classes of kindergarten, year one and two children on oral hygiene, dietary advice and the link between dental plaque, caries and gum disease.

BOH students used a new children’s book authored by Carevan Director Cathryn Carboon that taught children the benefits of regular tooth brushing and a good diet.

Head of the Bachelor of Oral Health program at the Faculty of Dentistry, Dr Kimberly Mathieu Coulton said University of Sydney students have contributed greatly to the health of local children.

“In the three years since the University’s BOH students became involved in the Carevan Sun Smiles program, they have provided over 2,000 children with toothbrushing instructions, dental screenings the application of fluoride varnish and oral health information.

“By conducting the dental screenings, the students identify dental decay, early gum disease, infection and occlusion issues and make referrals for dental treatment. With a focus on health and the prevention of dental disease, the opportunity to work as a team providing oral health promotion in the community has been very rewarding,” she said.

Federal Member for Reid, Craig Laundy MP said the program is a fantastic way for the University to work with the local community.

“The program empowers the students to become health ambassadors in their own homes – teaching their parents about oral hygiene,” said Mr Laundy.

“Thank you to all the staff and students at Sydney University for serving our great local community through Sun Smiles.”

“Seeing how Sun Smiles has helped the students in Reid is one of my proudest moments as an MP.”

In attendance during the day was Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Professor Chris Peck and the Hon Craig Laundy MP.

Elliott Richardson

Assistant Media Advisor (Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy)

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