The IMU Semesters 2 and 4 dental students packed a punch in bringing oral health awareness and education to the IMU Community through Oral Health Week (OHW) 2016 with the theme of Dental Wars – The Floss Awakens. As the theme suggests, OHW 2016 emphasises on flossing. According to the American Dental Association, inter-dental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Inter-dental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque build up. Held on 25 and 26 August 2016, OHW 2016 was a two-day event featuring six oral health educational booths where presentations were made by Semester 2 Dental students based on the posters they have created. There were also fun-filled games at each booth and attractive hand-made souvenirs were given to visitors at every booth. Furthermore, there were flash mob and various stage performances by multi-talented students from IMU to enliven the event. Other exciting events included a lucky draw session and an Instagram photo contest. OHW 2016 started on 25 August with a flash mob performance by IMU students from various programmes, followed by an opening speech by the President of the event, Tan Pheng Chin, a student from DT1/15. The Guest of Honour for OHW 2016 opening ceremony was the Principal Deputy Director of Oral Health Division from Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia, Dr Yaw Siew Lian. She gave a speech sharing her insights on issues or news in dental field, the activities being and which had been carried out by Oral Health Division in MOH, issues faced and are currently facing and steps to encounter these issues. Prof Khoo Suan Phaik, one of the Associate Deans of School of Dentistry also gave a speech on behalf of the President of Malaysian Dental Association (MDA), Dr Chow Kai Foo. The other Associate Dean of School of Dentistry, Prof Seow Liang Lin gave another speech and praised the OHW 2016 team on their effort in conducting this event. Souvenirs were given to Dr Yaw, Prof Khoo and Prof Seow as tokens of appreciation after all the speeches had been delivered. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony initiated by Dr Yaw, Prof Khoo and Prof Seow to mark the official start of the event. Over the two days, there were around 250 visitors to the event, but the President emphasised that it is not the crowd quantity that matters, but spreading awareness to those whom are not within this field is important. This year’s Oral Health Week was considered a successful one as they managed to attract and promote Oral Health awareness to the students, staff and even lecturers of IMU. The OHW 2016 official theme and t-shirt “Dental Wars – The Floss Awakens” caught the attention of many of their Medicine, Health Science and Medical Science colleagues as well. They even had to bring in a second batch of t-shirts due to the high demand. OHW 2016 ended on 26 August with the closing ceremony at 2:30pm. The ceremony had a closing speech by one of the Associate Deans of School of Dentistry in IMU, Prof Allan Pau Kah Heng. In his speech, he thanked the OHW 2016 President and all his committee members for their efforts in making the event a successful and memorable one. He hopes that the president and his committee members would continue to work hard and achieve their goals in the near future. A lucky draw session and prize giving ceremony for the winner of Instagram photo contest were held after the speech. Additionally, souvenirs were given to all lecturers from Faculty of Dentistry as tokens of appreciation during the closing ceremony for their countless efforts in guiding the students towards success. The event ended with a group photo session among lecturers and students. The following companies sponsored various products ranging from cash to toothbrushes and toothpastes for OHW 2016. The sponsors of this event were Altis-Pro Marketing Sdn Bhd, Amedix, TDI DenMedik Sdn Bhd, FFM Marketing Sdn Bhd, Al-Meswak Mu’Min Sdn Bhd, Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia, Eureka Snack Bar, MSIG Insurance (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Fortesys Distribution Sdn Bhd, Suntory Beverage & Food Malaysia Sdn Bhd, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Sdn Bhd, GemFive, One Dental Supply Sdn Bhd and Best Contact (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
The OHW 2016 event coordinators would like to express their gratitude to those who were supportive and willing to lend a hand in leading this event to its success.
Related article: Oral Health Week 2016: Dental Wars – The Floss Awakens