Once a month, I used to walk from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine down Washington Street to the New England Center and Home for Veterans to serve dinner. Although the vaccine offers new hope, in-person outreach is still on hold for Tufts ASDA. Most dental students enjoy giving back.
You never hear anyone in dental school utter the words, “I’m bored.” If anything, there is too much to do and too little time to do it. However, there are students who somehow find time to give back to those who are less fortunate, even with everything else going on in their lives.
Last summer on June 22, before COVID-19 flipped our world upside down, 22 members of the Colorado ASDA chapter woke up on “game day.” Jumping out of bed, they stuffed their faces full of oats and protein, laced up their shoes and put on their game faces before making the drive over to the outdoor Hoops Park in Aurora, Colorado.
As a three-year Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) Day co-coordinator, I had a clear vision of what our annual event on March 28, 2020, was going to look like. I would have never guessed a global pandemic would jeopardize the event itself and dental school life as I knew it.
The first time she traveled to Kenya to spend a few weeks volunteering at a World Health Dental Organization (WHDO) clinic, Dr. Katie Vincer Sears admits she was nervous. In the Oct. 16 episode of the ADA’s Beyond the Mouth podcast, she remembers thinking, “What am I getting myself into?”
As a fourth-year dental student at the University of Florida (UF), I’ve served patients across the state and found that dental caries was the most common condition I saw. This is no surprise, though, since it is the most prevalent of all oral diseases around the world, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
ASDA members can help bring healthier and happier smiles to children in the community by volunteering with Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) Dental Van program. BSBF invites members to volunteer by improving a smile, child by child, while having a rewarding hands-on community experience.