European Dental Students’ Association (EDSA) in cooperation with Procter & Gamble (P&G) started an international prevention programme, "SM!LE", in several countries across Europe. Until now, the project took place in UK, Turkey, France, Spain and so on. Russia held the longest project in Moscow and Samara in 2013, Voroneg and Saint-Petersburg in 2014-2015.
This year, LSMDB (Bucharest Dental Students League) implemented the programme in Bucharest, with the help of EDSA and our sponsors. The project coordinator is Gabriel Toma, EDSA Prevention Officer 2015-2016. Our main sponsor, P&G, provided 5000 Oral-B toothbrushes and Blend-a-med toothpaste.
We made a call for volunteers from the Faculty of Dental Medicine, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest. Those interested were asked to fill an online form and later they were selected. We managed to get 40 ambitious and hard working volunteers interested to teach non-dental students about oral health. They were taught the correct brushing and flossing techniques and were provided with T-shirts, demonstration models, toothbrushes, toothpaste and, of course, the questionnaire for the participants.
At the beginning of April 2016, we started the "SM!LE" programme in different faculties from Bucharest. In two weeks time, we conducted the project at the Faculty of Geography and Geology and the Faculty of Administration and Business, both from the University of Bucharest (each one a week).
The volunteers had a desk with materials, themed T-shirts and a themed roll-up banner to attract participants. Using smartphones and tablets, the volunteers kindly offered them an online anonymous questionnaire about oral health and personal habits.
The participants were also asked to show on the demonstration models how they clean their teeth and gums. Later the volunteers taught the non-dental students the correct techniques, providing pieces of information about brushing, flossing and mouthwashing (importance, how and when).
During these two weeks, we took photos and made videos with our volunteers at the participating faculties. The students we surveyed talked to their colleagues about the prevention programme and we had more participants coming to us for advice.
We are happy with our progress and we plan to extend the "SM!LE" project to other universities in Bucharest (The Economical Studies Academy, for example) and also university campuses.
To conclude, we (LSMDB coordinator and volunteers) would like to thank EDSA and P&G for making this prevention programme possible, by coming with the idea of "SM!LE" and providing the materials we needed for expanding the project in Bucharest.