Johnson _ Johnson CDHA Community Health Prize ESSAY While

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Johnson _ Johnson  CDHA Community Health Prize ESSAY While Powered By Docstoc
					                Johnson & Johnson / CDHA Community Health Prize

While attending George Brown College, I have become increasingly aware that a large
majority of the public is limited in their knowledge about dental hygiene. Many people
are misinformed, or are not informed at all. I had a strong interest in oral health ever
since I was a young girl, but now as I realise the importance of having a healthy mouth,
my concern has spread to raising awareness to the general public. Many factors hinder
certain individuals from receiving dental treatment, so I hope in the future to be able to
reach a wider population and help increase their dental knowledge.

Another important concept in dental hygiene is its relation to overall systemic health.
Thus, I completed a needs assessment of the student population at George Brown
College, performing an initial survey to determine their knowledge of oral health and how
it can affect one’ general health. Asking questions such as “    How much do you agree
with the statement, ‘ plaque in my mouth has no affect on the rest of my body’        ”,
allowed to me to see that the knowledge of the student population on the oral-systemic
link was poor. I then implemented a presentation on oral health at the Healthy –U
Health Fair at the St. James campus. I created a poster to educate the students about
general information on issues relating to oral health, such as oral hygiene instruction,
what is gingivitis and periodontitis, what are the signs of gingivitis, and issues that they
might find interesting, such as halitosis and its treatment. Most importantly, I educated
the students on the link between oral health and systemic health through the use of
pictures. Upon the completion of the presentation, I administered a second survey to see
if my presentation had been effective at increasing people’ knowledge on the oral-
systemic link. The results showed a tremendous improvement in the student population’        s
knowledge! In addition, the students were very interested in what I was teaching them,
and most commented that they had ‘ idea’        that the mouth and the rest of the body
were connected so intricately.

The Healthy – U Health Fair is an experience that is irreplaceable. No amount of time
spent in a clinical setting can replace the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that I
gained from participating in this health promotion initiative. In addition to the Health Fair,
I educated the public via a drop-in screening during Listerine’ Gingivitis Week in June
2007. Providing these individuals with information on gingivitis, how to prevent it and
how to treat it was extremely gratifying, knowing that I was aiding in increasing their
knowledge in oral hygiene.

These two health promotion initiatives greatly increased my interest and commitment to
improving the oral health of the general population and I look forward to graduating so
that I can improve oral health on a wider scale.

Diane Ioannou
2nd Year Dental Hygiene
George Brown College