On Saturday, October 20th over 100 Midwestern students came together for the annual event Give Kids a Smile. There were D2/D3 and D3/D4 pairs working together to provide care for the pediatric patients, and a new role in the treatment sequence was created for D2s to gain hands-on patient experience. In triage, D2s were able to screen patient’s oral health under faculty supervision before patients were sent to clinical care suites. This was my first time screening for oral health with a mirror and explorer in a patient’s mouth, so it was a humbling experience after working on a mannequin for the last year. There is a certain playfulness and energy you must exude when working with younger patients, and it took a while for me to find my voice. It was also a chance to practice giving clear directions to patients and communicating with faculty using dental terminology. Mixed dentition letters and numbers can be tricky to the untrained eye! Overall, I was happy to participate in Give Kids a Smile—I was able to practice chair-side manner and interact with pediatric patients and their families. I am not sure if a pediatric specialty is in my future, but I definitely enjoyed being a part of a team that gives kids smiles.
Photographs taken by Kook Sun Kim, ASDA Historian