On May 7th McGill Students and teachers participated in the annual Sharing Smiles Day organised by the Oral Health, Total Health (OHTH) organisation. This day is its cornerstone event with three main objectives:
- Provide opportunity for positive interactions: Many dentists and dental hygienists prefer not to treat persons with disabilities in their local clinics for reasons concerning a lack of comfort or familiarly. They claim that they do not feel comfortable caring for these individuals because they have never had prior interactions with persons with special needs.
- Gain comfort, confidence & familiarity: Very few Faculties of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene Programs across Canada offer first-hand interactions providing care for persons with special needs.
- Educate, advocate and motivate: To bring awareness to both the lack of access to oral care that persons with special needs face, and the importance of oral health care as it relates to one’s overall health and quality of life. Educating all participants, volunteers, and caregivers that they can make a difference in the lives of this wonderful population.
Oral Health, Total health (OHTH) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to advocate, educate and improve the oral health care for persons with special needs. This year Sharing Smiles Day was organized by Jun Li and Maral Aghourian, DMDIII students and co-chairs of OHTH Montreal Chapter. The event took place at the <iriam House and aims to foster comfort and care for those with intellectual challenges. The event was made successful by the help Dr. Power, Dr. Retrouvey and Dr. Czerednikow as well as the 31 volunteers from all 4 years of the DMD program. The day was organized as a carnival in the morning where participants enjoyed themselves in 10 carefully planned stations including board games, arts & crafts, indoor hockey, bean-bag toss, yoga, obstacle track, dance, sing-along, nail-painting and photo booth. After lunch, an oral hygiene instruction session took place to educate the participants on oral health and to teach them fun strategies for keeping a healthy mouth :). A special thank you to Suzanne Lacombe for capturing the fun atmosphere of the day. For more information visit the OHTH website.