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Student Spotlight: Promoting Dental Hygiene in Honduras

by Michelle Young | January 16th, 2012

Michelle Young attended a Global Dental Brigades trip in Honduras as a member of the American Student Dental Association. Before visiting Honduras, she helped collect dental supplies for the trip by visiting local lcinics. While in Honduras, she acted as a translator and was able to see how different dentists teach and utilize their work space. Her week-long trip was filled with dental procedures, presentations on dental hygiene, and the opportunity to interact with locals. This is her story.

The opportunity to travel to Honduras fulfilled a personal goal of mine to observe how disadvantaged people receive their dental and medical care on a daily basis. The way things operated on the dental side of things was very eye opening to see how mistreated the condition of their teeth had become. The children were extremely energetic and passionate in learning more about what we were there for and, possibly, after the lesson teaching their parents why it is so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I was truly honored to hopefully influence the next generation of kids working on building a healthy smile, in order for the oral health to not be as difficult as it had been for their parents. It is apparent to see why their teeth and overall health had reached its breaking point. This overall experience made me not only appreciate what I do have in my life but to give more attention to those who don’t.

As well, one of the lessons I learned was to reorganize the value of some materialistic things that I once found important, which seem pretty worthless now. I learned so much in dentistry, more in three days than a whole month at a clinic here in the United States. I am so excited to keep telling everyone how amazing it was and I can’t wait to be able to experience it again.

Michelle Young is a student at the University of California, Irvine and a past member of the American Students Dental Association. She hopes to pursue a career as a dentist. On her free time, she likes biking to the beach.

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