Dental students organize fundraiser for conference

Chris Smith Executive editor

This semester, members of the Missouri Southern Dental Hygiene Association are hosting a fundraiser designed to raise funds for the upcoming Missouri Dental Hygiene Association meeting.

The fundraiser is selling dental hygiene products like the Genius Oral-B toothbrush, professional-strength whitening strips, as well as, a few other products.

“As a student run organization, we are able to sell certain products at a discounted price,” said Kim Rogers, the interim dental hygiene department chairman. 

Registration for the annual seminar is $119 per student, plus the cost of travel expenses. Rogers said the fundraiser is necessary for students going to the MDHA.

“We tried to fundraise a little more last year, since we actually had to go to Lake of the Ozarks, so we had to pay for our traveling then,” said Annette Focart, the vice president of Southern’s Dental Hygiene Association. “So even though we fund raise, it’s a great way to get the community involved and also educate patients a little bit more on their oral health,” 

All of the products sold for the fundraiser are sold at a discounted rate. For example, the Genius Oral-B toothbrush is normally sold for approximately $160, but the group can sell it for $75. 

 “The students are really good about hitting up friends, family and we let patients know whenever they come into our dental hygiene clinic, that we do have these products,” Rogers said. “If it would benefit them, we encourage them to buy it, but it’s totally up to them.”

The only downside to the fundraiser is that students cannot advertise with flyers or ads, since that would make them in competition with other dental practices. 

 “We try not to be a creep or anything, but we stop a lot of students and tell them about them clinic and the toothbrushes we’re selling,” Focart said. “We reach out to a lot of family members.”

The Missouri Dental Hygiene Association has many sessions about different topics under the dental hygiene umbrella. The sessions include continuing education courses taught by nationally known people within this profession. 

“[The students] gain this knowledge, but they also get to network with hygienists that are already out there working,” Rogers said. “So that they can build relationships for when they graduate. 

“They know different professionals that are regionally specific. So if they are moving to that area they can kind of network.”

These seminars also allow students to ask questions and help them better understand how things work at the state or national levels. It also helps them look for jobs after they graduate. 

“MDHA is really great because we get to reach out to dental hygienists that are already out there in the community and working,” Focart said. “They have a lot of knowledge this year, for us. They are also very encouraging since they’ve been through school and know how it works.”

The fundraiser is ongoing as students strive to raise funds for the conference.

“Anybody on campus that wants to look at potentially purchasing these products,” Rogers said. “Feel free to contact our dental hygiene clinic with their name and number. We’d be happy to get back with them.”