Students sink teeth into National Dental Hygiene Week with free screenings, giveaways, displays and more

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The Niagara College community will have a chance to brush up on their oral health awareness on April 11.

In celebration of National Dental Hygienists Week – which runs April 8 to 14 – senior students from the College’s Dental Hygiene program are cutting their teeth in their chosen profession by hosting an event will at the Welland Campus to promote oral health.

Visitors can hop into a dental chair for a free comprehensive oral screening, or browse displays for free information and advice about topics including tooth-brushing techniques, sugar substitutes, the dangers of sugar, whitening, dental myths, smoking and oral cancer. The event will also include games, giveaways and raffle prizes.

Alaina Gauthier noted that the students’ main purpose is to both promote oral health and promote awareness of their profession. Students are encouraged to take an initial step into becoming dental hygiene advocates and community leaders – qualities outlined in the profession’s standards of practice.

“Our profession is founded on advocacy. This event allows students to exercise this muscle and encourages them to experience what it is like to be a part of a community outreach program,” she said. “National Dental Hygiene Week is celebrated all over Canada, so it is always rewarding for students to see that they are truly part of something bigger than what they do at Niagara College; it allows them to see the all-encompassing nature of their profession.”

The Oral Cancer Foundation is assisting the students by providing brochures and screening kits.

The event will be held at the Applied Health Institute from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Applied Health Institute foyer.

National Dental Hygienists Week is an initiative of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. The theme for this year’s NDHW is ‘Oral Health for Total Health.’

Niagara College has been involved with NDHW for the past four years. In 2014, NC students won the Best Event category in the CDHA’s Put Your Purple On Campaign. Last year, students initiated special purple lighting for Welland’s Main Street Bridge during NDHW in April. For details visit www.cdha.ca/

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