Oral Health/Total Health

Sharing SmilesThis student-managed program is designed to improve the oral health of children and adults with special needs and is facilitated entirely by dental students, including all related fundraising events.

Since the program's inception in April 2010, Schulich Dentistry's chapter of Oral Health Total Health has hosted three Sharing Smiles Day events.  These events are fun-filled days where students provide oral hygiene instruction to children and special needs patients while learning the value and importance of social responsibility.

2017 London Sharing Smiles Day - March 5

The London chapter of Oral Health Total Health will be hosting their eighth annual Sharing Smiles Day on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at the Great Hall – Somerville House on the Western University campus between the hours of 10am-1pm.

The day begins with a games expo led by London dental and hygiene students. It is followed by a luncheon and special presentation involving honourable guest speakers. The day ends with interactive demonstrations on tooth brushing led by general practitioners and specialists of the dental profession, along with the distribution of Colgate dental kits to each participant. Throughout the day, we also anticipate active participation from local media at our venue. If you have any questions or would like more specific details regarding the event, please email salves6@uwo.ca.

Sharing Smiles Day Events are annual fun-filled, informative days
where the attitudinal barriers between dental students
and persons with special needs
can be removed and positive relationships fostered.

Watch CTV Video - 2016 Sharing Smiles Day
Read more about Sharing Smiles
Visit our London Chapter

The primary reasons for Sharing Smiles Days are:

  • Provide opportunity for positive interactions: Many dentists and dental hygienists prefer not to treat persons with disabilities in their local clinics for reasons concerning a lack of comfort or familiarly. They claim that they do not feel comfortable caring for these individuals because they have never had prior interactions with persons with special needs.

  • Gain comfort, confidence & familiarity: Very few Faculties of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene Programs across Canada offer first-hand interactions providing care for persons with special needs.

  • To Educate, advocate and motivate: To bring awareness to both the lack of access to oral care that persons with special needs face, and the importance of oral health care as it relates to one’s overall health and quality of life. Educating all participants, volunteers, and caregivers that they can make a difference in the lives of this wonderful population.
  • Sharing Smiles Days aim to deliver on OHTH’s three primary goals. (See Mission)

Sharing Smiles Day includes:

  • Carnival Morning: Every Sharing Smiles Day begins with a morning full of games, face painting and activities led and created by the respective dental students and volunteers from the OHTH chapter.

  • Luncheon: Following the carnival morning, everyone gathers to sit down and enjoy a warm lunch together with keynote speakers and performances on stage.

  • Dental Demonstrations & participation: The last component of the day with toothbrushes and toothpastes donated by Colgate, includes oral hygiene education and demonstrations led by licensed dentists and dental hygienists from the community. The dental students assist with providing one-on-one care and attention to each participant.