My Work in Dental Prevention and Education

A Timeline
 
Anterior Crossbite + Bottle Feeding Research

From 2017 to 2020, I conducted research on early correction of anterior crossbite through bottle feeding. Early correction, initiated at least after age 3 when a fixed or removable appliance can be worn, encouraging proper development of the maxilla and mandible. Our initial Case Study, published in the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, describes an instance of exceptionally early intervention of a bottle-fed 10-month-old boy without use of an appliance. Correction was achieved in 5 months by changing the bottle position to a counterbalancing feeding angle. This technique needs further investigation but has potential to reduce future costly orthodontic procedures, improving psychophysiological development.

 

Although we got IRB approval to start the next step of research to expand our study to a much larger sample size, we were unable to continue this project due to the pandemic. I hope to continue it in dental school. 

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Brown Pre-dental Society Initiatives

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of children. Over the pandemic, I started an initiative “Oral Health Education for Children” teaching local elementary schoolers about the importance of oral health, proper oral hygiene & dietary habits, and fluoride benefits through virtual games like kahoot and jeopardy. Concurrently, I was working with children and conducting research on praise at the Causality and Mind Lab. Praise is important in motivating children to maintain good oral hygiene and diet, so my research was informative in how I developed and delivered presentations to children.

During my last semester at Brown, when I handed this project off to our Community Service Chair, I was delighted to see that we were finally able to present in-person at schools, and even set up tables at their science fairs!

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Oral Health Education for Children

Prevention is just as important for our elderly, whose oral health often goes unnoticed and uncared for. In 2019, I developed oral hygiene training sessions to be delivered to caretakers at nursing homes. Communicating with Dr. Zwethckenbaum, Director of RI Dept Oral Health, I worked on a powerpoint on causes of gum disease & tooth decay, proper set-up and maintenance of teeth, dentures and partials, dealing with residents with dementia, parkinsons and paralysis, and identifying 10 types of oral pathologies. Once  Brown pre-dental society members were trained to give presentations, we divided into working groups and obtained floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste donations from local offices. With the help of Adderlin Bailey, Dental Program Manager of Carelink Collaborative, we were put in contact with 46 nursing homes and worked in groups to present our content.

 

Oral Health for the Elderly

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Dental Associates of Rhode Island Infographics

From 2021-2022, I made these infographics to educate patients about basic oral health concepts. Topics include: plaque, tooth decay, gum disease, fillings, sealants, halloween tips, types of dentists, infant oral health, pregnancy oral health, and the oral systemic link! View 57 panels in the gallery below:

 
HSDM Global Health Starter Kit Co-author

From 2021-2022, I worked with Dr. Seymour, Global Health Discipline Director at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, to spearhead the development of two new modules "COVID-19: Global Lessons for a Global Profession" and “Global Health for Pre-dental Students.” HSDM's Global Health Starter Kit is a competency-based global health ‘starter’ curriculum designed for dental educators and students.


"COVID-19: Global Lesson for a Global Profession" (Module 7) is meant to equip all learners with the ability to:
1. Describe the reciprocal links between oral health and COVID-19 risk and severity
2. Evaluate the impacts of the pandemic on the dental workforce and global oral health in the syndemic context.
3. Identify shortcomings within the oral healthcare system and opportunities for growth highlighted by COVID-19.

 
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