Earlier this month, Eastman Dental assisted Mary’s Place (www.marysplaceoutreach.org), a local center for refugees from such countries as Haiti, Nepal, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The center helps these refugees become acclimated to the American culture by teaching them English, assisting with life skills, as well as preparing them for school and employment.
“I spoke, or should I say pantomimed, with about eight adults while Kathy Krishner, a retired Special Ed teacher worked with about the same number of 3-4 year old children,” explained Maria Justice, RN, MSEd., who contacted EIOH Social Worker Lenora Colaruotolo to request educational materials and supplies from Eastman Dental for a dental education session.
Colaruotolo supplied Justice with posters from the American Dental Association, a flip chart showing guidance for pediatric oral hygiene, and bags filled with adult and children’s toothbrushes, paste, sticker and a brochure. “We welcomed the opportunity to support Mary’s Place in this important outreach initiative,” said Colaruotolo. “We are grateful to Kathy and Maria for providing oral hygiene instruction and oral health guidance to the children and their moms.”
“Neither the adults nor children speak English, so much of my information was presented from the flip chart picture book that Eastman gave me,” Justice said. “I brought props such as baby dolls and a toy baby bottle to emphasis not sharing bottles due to bacteria build-up, and then showed the pictures of the healthy teeth when done correctly and the unhealthy ones when not.
“I did the same with counting out teaspoons of sugar in a bottle of Coke and candy,” she continued. “I ended with showing them how to brush all areas of their teeth and mouth and followed up with pictures of healthy, calcium enriched food choices.”
Krishner worked with the children by having them complete several crafts related to teeth brushing and emphasized they do this twice a day. She also read them a story about going to the dentist, pointing out different aspects of a dental visit.
“Kathy and I concluded our class by offering a snack of milk, cheese sticks and yogurt to both adults and children. And thanks to Eastman, each left with his or her very own toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, and a bright smile!”