In March, preschool children from the First Ward Child Development Center and JOYLAND Home Child Care visited the CPCC Dental Hygiene Clinic on CPCC's Central Campus as a part of a student-led project to provide community education in oral health. The excited children rode up and down in the dental chairs; brushed tooth models; washed their hands with the automated foot pumps and water spray; dressed in gloves, masks and gowns; played with teeth shaped bean bags; went in the X-ray and dark room; and became more familiar with the dental care environment.
The community outreach visit was the direct result of The Oral Health Initiative which was created to encourage the development and implementation of ideas that will bring awareness to existing dental health issues and offer oral health solutions for North Carolinians. CPCC was announced an Oral Health Initiative competition winner in 2013 and awarded $20,000.
CPCC's Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene and Early Childhood Education students are now using the monies to implement their award-winning solution for improving oral health in pre-school children – partnering with local childcare centers to provide dental education for pre-school children, teachers and parents by emphasizing healthy nutrition; role-playing dental routines, such as brushing teeth and visiting the dentist; scheduling visits to CPCC’s on-campus dental clinic; and offering free dental cleaning and varnish treatments to the children.