December 15, 2016
The College’s Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) Chapter has been chosen the winner of the Nuestros Ninos contest of the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), sponsored by Colgate. In the contest, students are invited to develop a program that educates on the importance of dental care, good oral hygiene habits, and good diet.
The College’s HSDA chapter submitted a prototype for such a program. Students submitting also are expected to demonstrate a passion for Hispanic communities, follow Design Thinking Methodology, and show an ability to communicate positively with Hispanic children and caregivers.
According to the HDA’s Dr. Luis C. Yepes of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School, the College’s HSDA chapter “met and surpassed these criteria,” and “clearly demonstrated the outstanding qualities we look for in our student recipients of this award.”
“Our students developed the ‘dental tracker,’ an interactive calendar and educational instrument that provided illustrations of proper oral hygiene and a calendar to track brushing/flossing and diet for a week,” said Dr. Adriana Semprum-Clavier, Clinical Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry, an advisor to the chapter.
“We presented this prototype to families at Iglesia Bautista Bethania Bethany Baptist Church in Elgin, IL,” said Camila Peralta-Sugano, HSDA Co-President. “Students also demonstrated proper OHI and nutrition through hands-on activities with the children.”
Dr. Marcela Escobar, Clinical Instructor, Dental Clinics, another advisor to the chapter, with six of the student members tested the tracker at the church measuring baseline information “showing promising results a week later, where 15% increase was observed in brushing and flossing twice a day, a 14% increase was observed in water or milk intake per day, and 30% decrease was observed in candy or soda intake per day,” Dr. Semprum-Clavier explained. “Both parents and kids loved it!”
“The students have worked really hard and deserved it,” said Dr. Escobar. “This was a great opportunity for them to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and also to serve our Hispanic community.”
“Dr. Escobar and I feel very proud of our creative and committed group of students,” Dr. Semprum-Clavier said. “They are always motivated and bring wonderful ideas that help us meet our College mission and the HDA mission of serving, educating, and advocating for the Hispanic communities.”
Melissa Villafane, HSDA Co-President, stated, “It was a very rewarding experience and the kids were so engaged and excited about using the tracker. The families provided overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
The chapter received a monetary prize and will present the project at the Colgate Technological Center in Piscataway, NJ.