RSDM Community Service Requirements

Each student is required to participate and complete a minimum of 4 hours of supervised volunteer community service each year. Students will be able to choose from a school activity listed under "service opportunities" link or suggest one. All service activities for credit need prior approval by Professor Deb Goldsmith.

Goals

  • Participate as a healthcare provider in our communities to promote oral health.
  • Provide education in oral health care or oral health screening.

Promoting Oral Health Education Topics

Most people are surprised to know that tooth decay is the single most common infectious disease in children and access to care is lower among disadvantaged groups, like the poor and elderly. (CDC 2005) Some of the strategies and background information you can provide in your presentations:

  • Oral Development
  • Oral Habits
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Fluoridation
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Injury Prevention and Care

Why Community Health is Important?

Health Disparities and Status of Oral Health in NJ

Dental care is the most prevalent unmet health need in US children with wide disparities existing in oral health and access to care. Only 1 in 5 children covered by Medicaid receive preventive oral care for which they are eligible. Children from low income and minority families have poorer oral health outcomes, fewer dental visits, and fewer protective sealants. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that within Newark City School district, there are 55,985 children who are from families with incomes that are below the poverty level. Water fluoridation is the most effective measure in preventing caries, but only 62% of water supplies are fluoridated. Newark is not one and lack of fluoridation may disproportionately affect poor children.

On the positive side most tooth decay is preventable. Through a combination of community, professional, and individual measures including, water fluoridation, professionally applied topical fluorides and dental sealants, and use of fluoride toothpastes, tooth decay may be avoidable. However, caregivers do not routinely practice many of these strategies. Our programs should be designed to provide background information and strategies for children and child care providers.

Contact information:
Deb Goldsmith - Room B849, 973-972-4710