Your teeth are important in many ways. If you take care of them, they’ll help take care of you. Dental assistant students from Singley Academy’s School of Health Science are actively learning what this means.

“This career centralizes in giving back to the community and one of the best feelings I get is when I help and give back to people in anything I do. I know this career helps people gain confidence and learn to love their smile,” says Jazmin Perez.

The dental assistant program at Singley not only helps these students empower their future patients, but it sets them up for success in their careers in the long run.

“We joined the dental assistant program for the benefits it brings, specifically after high school. After graduation, we get our dental assistant licenses and associate’s degrees so we can actually just go to work straight off the bat in a dental office,” says Brenda Calvillo.

Students in the program also receive specific on-the-job training they wouldn’t receive if they weren’t attending Singley. They are learning valuable lessons from each other and career-specific skills.

“Singley is unique because we have a treatment room literally in the back of our classroom so we can practice what it is like to be in a dental office and gain hands-on experience with each other. Other high schools don’t provide that. Singley helps you specifically focus on your career,” says Araceli Sanchez.

Seniors are offered internships in dental offices, which help them build their networks and resumes.

Every day, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and work hands-on with each other, giving them a step ahead in the game. They are learning about underlying health issues that can come from not taking care of your mouth and how to properly care for your teeth. For some students, the dental assistant course has helped them dig deeper and answer a calling that goes further than just keeping teeth healthy.

“I wanted to become a dentist because both of my parents have always struggled to find a good dentist. They are all different- prices, treatments, everything and I want to do something about that. I want to make dentistry more accessible and affordable,” said Priscyla Diaz.

These students have recognized the many facets that come with maintaining healthy teeth. It can be hard to find someone you can rely on when it comes to dentistry. Jazmin, Brenda, Araceli and Priscyla want to change that. The program has given them more insight and opened their eyes to the science behind keeping your teeth clean.

Here are some of their top tips for maintaining a healthy smile:

  1. Brush everything- you should brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle towards the gums. Brush every surface of your teeth. Don’t forget to also brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth.
  2. Floss- flossing removes any bacteria and plaque from your teeth and prevents bad breath, gum recession, cavities and periodontal disease.
  3. Watch what you eat- keep an eye on the foods you consume. Sugary foods can rot your teeth down to the root and cause cavities which can lead to further complications.
  4. Go to the dentist- visit the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and a cleaning. Visiting regularly prevents the progression of infections and cavities which could’ve been preventable.
  5. Don’t over brush- don’t brush so hard that you see bleeding. A common misconception is that brushing harder means your teeth are cleaner. That’s not true, you could expose your roots and cause gingivitis which inflames your gums. Make sure you brush your teeth for 2 minutes – 30 seconds each quadrant of the mouth.