Aspiring dentists cut their teeth promoting good oral health
Smile, a dentistry project that King’s students have run for six years, aims to increase the awareness of good oral health in the local community.
“We educate children about dental decay, sugars, what a visit to the dentist entails and the positive impact of having good oral health,” says Tripat Mahajan, co-president of the university’s Smile Society. “It’s a good way to see first hand how healthcare is delivered into the community and it’s good practice for healthcare professionals to see how the things we learn about in an academic setting are implemented.
“We communicate with children, their parents and teachers,” she says. “We serve an inner-city area and sometimes we come across children who have never visited a dentist. Last year, we set up an event with a Down’s syndrome charity to provide care for children whose conditions affect their dental health in different ways. It was a unique learning opportunity for us and also appreciated by the children’s parents.
“Another aspect of volunteering with Smile is the opportunity to meet students from different year groups and to swap notes about academic and practical experience,” she says. “I’ve met people whose paths would never normally cross because I am in hospital while they are in lecture theatres.”