May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


AAPD Predoctoral Chapter Spotlight

The Tooth Wigglers—Virginia Commonwealth University

November 2018 Volume LIII Number 6

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Predoctoral Student Chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Dentistry (VCU), known here as the "Tooth Wigglers", aims to promote pediatric oral health and dental care, as well as student interest in learning about the treatment of children. The organization’s goals include educat-  ing students seeking a career in pediatric dentistry or those providing dental care to children on oral health care delivery; Fostering collaboration among medical and dental providers to address access to oral health care and common risk factors to overall childhood health and organizing; and participating in communi- ty-based events.

The Tooth Wigglers had a productive academic year making a difference in the Richmond commu- nity. In October 2017, the organization provided oral hygiene instructions and delivered free dental home- care kits to over 200 children and their parents at Children’s Hospital Foundation Fire Prevention Day.
In November 2017 the Tooth Wigglers partici- pated in the Mini Medical Family Day at VCU, aimed at spreading health awareness and providing health screenings for children of the Richmond community. The Tooth Wigglers helped by providing nutritional and dental educa- tion to parents and children.

In February 2018, the Tooth Wigglers participated in "Give Kids a Smile Day" at VCU, where the members provided free dental care to the children of the Richmond community. Also in February, the Tooth Wigglers took part in "Play Smart Program" at Clover Hill Library in Midlothian, Va. The program was featured on the local news and its focus was to give parents an opportunity to ask questions they had pertaining to their child’s dental needs. At this event, the Tooth Wig-glers came up with fun and interactive ways to educate the children on the importance of oral health care and provided instruction on proper oral hygiene.

In March 2018, the Tooth Wigglers participated in "VCU Block Party". The event aimed to provide free health screenings and resourc- es for the local Richmond community. The Tooth Wigglers provided oral hygiene instructions along with free dental homecare kits tonearly 500 members of the Richmond community.
The Tooth Wigglers also organized various fundraisers. The organization set up a bake sale to raise money for the Hurri- cane Harvey victims and hosted a school-wide fundraiser called "No Shave November". The proceeds from "No Shave November" were donated to St. Joseph’s Villa, the longest continuously operat- ing children’s nonprofit in the country.

Aside from serving the Richmond community, the Tooth Wigglers set up a mentor-mentee program for their members. The organization collaborated with local pediatric dentists like Dr. Randy Adams and gave its members an opportunity to spend a day shadowing them to learn more about pediatric dentistry. Moreover, the Tooth Wigglers organized pediatric residency sessions to help its members with the pediatric dentistry application process.

In the upcoming academic year, the Tooth Wigglers aim to par- ticipate in more public outreach opportunities and organize educa- tional sessions for its members on topics such as pediatric craniofacial trauma. Collaboration with the Virginia Society of Pediatric Dentistry will be helpful in organizing educational sessions and outreach with practicing pediatric dentists and pediatric dentistry faculty. The AAPD Predoctoral Student Chapter at VCU School of Dentistry deeply val- ues the importance of pediatric dental care and education. This chap- ter is committed to making a difference in public health by providing its members with opportunities to get involved in various community outreach efforts and leadership and learning opportunities.

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