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Dal students play "tooth fairy" at the Halifax Central Library
Magic was in the air on a sunny Saturday in April as the tooth fairy visited the Halifax Central Library.
Second-year Dental Hygiene student Laura Leger donned her fairy wings for the day and joined classmates Ashley Broome, Brittany Dunlop, Shelby DeVan at the Spring Garden Road branch for an oral health outreach session to educate both kids and parents on the importance of oral health.
The group planned many activities including colouring pages, interactive tooth activities and learning about dental equipment. The group also had mobile apps to show parents how to make brushing fun and other important information.
Although most kids and parents showed an interest in all of the activities the group had planned, the students admit the tooth fairy stole the show.
“The kids and their parents would enter the library and see the tooth fairy and come running up to her,” admits Broome. “Laura would get down to the kids’ level and ask them to show her their teeth and handed them a model toothbrush to show her if they are brushing correctly.”
Although this event was targeted mainly at kids and their parents, the students were thrilled to see that others took interest in their event.
“There were a lot of people from the general public that came up to our table to ask us questions about oral health,” says Broome. “It was great because we not only had toothbrushes and floss for the children, but for adults as well and were able to reach a larger population.”
The event was a hit with the kids, and the group even had to get their professor to run back to the school and grab more toothbrushes and floss. The parents also appreciated the education in proper oral health care.
“Parents came up to us and told us what a great idea this was because now they can go home with their kids and remind them of when they were shown how to brush and floss properly by the tooth fairy herself,” says Broome. “Parents said that this made their children excited to brush and floss and lots of kids wanted to open their new toothbrushes immediately.”
Heather Doepner, the Children’s Services Librarian at the Halifax Central Library who helped organized the event, brought her own kids in to participate in the activities.
“My boys were so excited to receive new toothbrushes from the tooth fairy that they clutched them all afternoon and could hardly wait to brush their teeth when they got home,” says Doepner.
“It was very rewarding to see the faces of the children, and to be able to answer questions and provide information to the parents,” says Broome. “This didn’t even feel like volunteering for us, it was so much fun and absolutely something we would all like to do again!”
Heather Doepner also hopes that events like these can continue in the future.
“I hope future Dental Hygiene students will come and do oral health education outreach. We can provide the space and opportunity to meet lots of families and they can provide their enthusiasm for and knowledge of oral hygiene.”
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