Brushing Up on Oral Health

Roughly 100 elementary students were taught proper hygiene and habits to promote good oral health through a project spearheaded by the Lake Erie College (LEC) PA Program in Painesville, Ohio and supported by the Lake County Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) organization.

PA students partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to bring oral health education to four local public schools that currently had BBBS afterschool programs. The PA-led community outreach project consisted of building four learning stations where students could learn the proper way to brush their teeth, fun facts about teeth, the best diets and nutrition to keep teeth healthy, and the harms of tobacco.

At each station, students viewed a tri-fold presentation and received health educational materials to take home. They also participated in an educational activity designed to make their learning experience engaging. Additionally, toothpaste, toothbrush or floss was placed in each student’s oral health activity bag before the student moved from one station to another.

“Not many young people know the importance of oral health, so I believe it is our duty as health care professionals to educate them on this subject. I believe our oral health program will have a lasting impact on children’s and hopefully even their parents’ oral hygiene,” shared LEC PA student, Ashlee Grow.

In its first year, this PA-led outreach was featured in The News Herald. To sustain the program, the LEC PA faculty will work with the Community Outreach Chair elected from the incoming 2019 PA class.

This project was supported by the nccPA Health Foundation’s Oral Health Outreach grant program.

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