Using research to collaboratively address barriers to dental care

You read a restaurant review on Yelp. You survey the menu and ask a friend about their favorite dish. You may even ask the waiter for more information about the ingredients. Who would have thought that going out to dinner would require so much research? Informally, we use research to help us make decisions in our daily lives. Formally, research is used to gather information and discover associations between topics. With an interest in learning more about underserved populations, I used research techniques to explore barriers to oral health for Latinos in eastern North Carolina from the perspective of community health workers.

East Carolina students step up in the wake of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence made landfall south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Sept. 14. Classified at its peak as a Category 4 hurricane, the storm’s winds reached speeds of 130 mph. It caused 53 casualties and at least $12.7 billion worth of damage from flooding to the area in its path, according to an Oct. 24, 2018, Engineering News-Record article. The hurricane might be over, but flooding remains. In some areas, it may take years to rebuild from the damage.

The power of mentorship in advocacy

April 2018. I ventured to Washington, D.C., for ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day. The first day prepared nearly 1,100 dentists and dental students for the congressional meetings that followed. While sitting in the grand ballroom of our host hotel, I listened to questions and comments about our legislative issues. Some issues were simpler to understand as a first-year dental student. Others, such as those regarding insurance and its marketplace, seemed more complicated. It was then that I realized my lack of understanding on the intricacies of some legislative issues. I knew that to better understand the issues, to feel confident advocating and to further my advocacy involvement after lobby day, I needed a mentor.

Make your snacks work for you

I enjoy snacking. Even though I know all about tooth decay, there are still some times when I crave a sweet, sugary snack. It is important to remember that while those treats are accessible, comforting and delicious, they don’t always leave us in our best condition. The right snack can make a long study session a little more tolerable or provide a much needed energy boost to get through an evening of lab work. It’s obvious that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the healthy options we should be striving for, but when you have these snacks is also important.

The psychology of gratitude

thank you messageThe daily life of a dental student is often about as jam packed as a crowded subway. Trying to juggle our academic, clinical and personal obligations is no easy task and at times, it can be overwhelming. However, to provide our patients with the best possible care, we must care for ourselves first. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to achieve this is by consciously practicing gratitude.

Keep reading to find out how…

How to stand out in an interview (in a good way)

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 4.43.20 PMIt’s that time of year!! Interview season has commenced. As you go off to your residency interview (or maybe you are a predental student preparing for the big interview you’ve been waiting for), you want to make sure you are prepared in all capacities, including your outfit. You probably have asked yourself at one point, “How can I stand out?” or “What will set me apart from the other candidates”? There is nothing wrong with standing out and making a great initial impression, you just want to make sure you do it in the right way. Read on to find out how!

The history behind smiling in portraits

725px-Élisabeth-Louise_Vigée-Le_Brun_-_Madame_Vigée-Le_Brun_et_sa_fille_(1786)Modern dentistry has changed greatly in the past three centuries, but the advancements in the profession don’t come solely from developments in technology, materials and research. The smile is now synonymous with joy and excitement, and many people are willing to go to great lengths to have the perfect smile. Yet throughout history, the smile was analogous to foolishness, irrational emotion, and deceit. It’s no surprise that words smile and smirk in the English language share the same Old Norse origin.

However, it wasn’t until the 19th and 20th century that smiling became a widespread, popular cultural phenomenon. According to historian Colin Jones, a professor of art history at Queen Mary University of London, the point of inflection regarding the public opinion of smiling came about with a controversial self-portrait of Madame Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, a French artist. In her painting, Le Brun, a young mother, portrays herself smiling ever so slightly, showing the incisal edges of her maxillary incisors.