Years in dental hygiene: 27
Are you still practicing clinical dental hygiene? Yes
Type of practice: Geriatric
Why did you begin a career in dental hygiene?
I started caring for aging adults after my grandmother died in a nursing home. During the time she was in a nursing home, I provided her oral care. I knew there was a need for oral care in long-term care facilities (LTCs). My husband Gerald Dunbar and I started a mobile dental company providing care to LTC residents. Since we began my whole life changed. I discovered a dental world that seemed forgotten. I have seen dentures with black mold and partial dentures that had not been removed in years. LTC staff needs more training on why oral care is essential and how to perform this care. My purpose and passion have collided with my profession.
What causes do you advocate on social media?
I bring awareness to aging adults in LTCs and to educate, motivate, and communicate the importance of oral care as we age.
Do you have a goal?
My goal is to continue to develop my brand as the Geriatric Toothfairy by bringing awareness to proper oral care in LTCs through educational and motivational speaking, online courses, nursing home staff training, and webinars. I continue to develop my S.O.S Program (Saving Our Seniors) Connecting Seniors to Smiles, which encourages dental professionals to “adopt” a nursing home in their community and train the staff on proper oral care. As the cofounder of the National Mobile Dentistry Conference and the American Mobile Dentistry Alliance, I plan to help make mobile dentistry a more viable part of the dental community. For more information contact [email protected].