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Dental Hygiene Students Continue Education Outreach at Special Olympics

Ferris State UniversityMembers of Ferris State University’s Students of the American Dental Hygienists Association joined faculty members for their annual outreach efforts at the Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games in Mount Pleasant.

College of Health Professions Associate Professor Kathleen Harlan joined Clinical dental hygienist Denise Byrnes in supporting an eight-student group who led dental education programs, using an oversized toothbrush and other props to make their presentations on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1.

“There’s a community service component for our student membership,” Byrnes said. “We have sent a group to the Special Olympics Summer Games for more than a decade now. Kathleen and I participate in dental screening for periodontitis, gingivitis and dental caries, a clinical phrase for describing cavities. Our students are usually there for both the days that we attend. The athletes are a very receptive audience. Our students show them the benefits of brushing and flossing.”

There are also dentists from across the state who offer their talents at the Special Olympics Summer Games as part of the Special Smiles program by conducting screenings and other services.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University Dental Hygiene students offered patient education outreach during the 2018 Special Olympics Summer Games in Mount Pleasant. Kayla Leach, of Manistee (standing); was joined by (from left) Turner Barnett, of Grass Lake; Leah Potter, of Traverse City; Justine Berry, of Plymouth; and Brooke Hollenbeck, of Sidney. They are members of the Students of the American Dental Hygienists Association.