Dental offices don't often do house calls, but a group of health studies students will be bringing oral health promotion to Prince George's downtown tonight.
The students, members of the College of New Caledonia's dental assisting program, will be distributing toothbrushes and floss, as well as CNC swag, outside of the Fire Pit Cultural Drop-in Centre on Third and George Street. The event will mark International Women's Day and will be held in collaboration with students from UNBC's Northern Medical Program.
Jillian Toye and Jordyn Fournier, two CNC health studies students, chose to enrol in the dental assisting program after work placements in dental offices during their high school years.
The two hope they are able to provide basic supplies to low-income members of the community, many of whom often don't have ready access to dental health professionals.
"We are women and we are role models for other people in the community," Fournier said. "It's also to encourage others to have good oral hygiene."
The subject of oral health promotion is particularly apt for International Women's Day; the dental assistant profession has traditionally been staffed by women. Toye and Fournier acknowledged that all of their classmates were women.
"Women supporting women is very important, especially since we're in a class full of girls. We're really girl power," Toye said.
Students of the program will be undertaking more community work this Spring.
The two will be working on a collaborative project with School District 57, and will be providing dental care to primary-school age children through the Seal in a Smile initiative.
The program, hosted at CNC, often serves low-income children who may not have regular access to a dentist.
"We help them be more motivated to keep their oral hygiene up so they can have something for themselves," Toye said.
"We provide care here in the clinic and we provide fissure sealants for a lot of these kids and give them words of encouragement," Fournier said.
The CNC's dental assisting class will be hitting the streets Thursday night at the Fire Pit Cultural Drop-in Centre from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.