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VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Scared at first, smiling in the end.
From May 17-24, the dental clinic at Vancouver Community College’s Downtown campus opened its doors to 185 elementary school children from Vancouver and Burnaby for the annual Chevron Tooth Trolley event. Children from grades K to 7 arrived on board a Vancouver Trolley Company bus and were offered free dental assessments, cleanings, fissure treatments and tips for maintaining good oral health.
Plus, they got to meet the Tooth Fairy.
“Many of these children are new to Canada or from low income families and have either never been to a dentist’s office or have endured stressful dental care situations in the past,” says Sherry Messenger, VCC instructor, certified dental assisting program. “This fun, relaxed clinic helped ease their fears about basic checkups.”
Messenger adds the Chevron Tooth Trolley is an important, community-focused learning initiative not only for the children, but for their parents and VCC students studying to work in dental offices.
"One little girl came in with tears in her eyes and refused to sit in the chair. We realized her previous dental experience was probably quite stressful. But she left with a bright smile, hand-in-hand with the Tooth Fairy.” – VCC student
“I met a six-year-old boy who had just moved to Canada from China. This was his first dental experience. He was so sweet and really excited. I also enjoyed speaking with his father about taking good care of son’s oral health.” – VCC student
“I liked that I was able to make my patient feel more comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair. He came in very scared but by the end he was smiling.” – VCC student
Sponsored by Chevron, Sunstar and the Vancouver Trolley Company, this annual event provides an exciting, hands-on learning opportunity for students in VCC’s full-time certified dental assisting and dental reception coordinator programs.