Dental Students Donate Services to Breast Cancer PatientsThe Breast Cancer Site
Breast cancer patients have enough to worry about with treatments and recovery, and basic self-maintenance can be hard to perform. According to Providence NBC affiliate WJAR, dental hygiene students at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) felt they had to help these women. The group of 22 senior students all donned pink scrubs and partnered with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation to provide non-invasive dental services.
The group held numerous fundraisers to get the money to purchase fluoride and dental tray materials that they'd use on breast cancer patients. Fluoride trays are sort of like mouth guards. To use them, you spread fluoride gel inside the mouth piece then insert it over your teeth. After five minutes, you spit out the fluoride and you're done. The ladies from CCRI felt that using these devices would help breast cancer patients maintain good dental hygiene with little effort.
"When you have dry mouth your saliva acts as a buffer against acids that are formed from sugars and bacteria in your mouth. And if you don't have that buffer you increase your risk for cavities and that is why we make the fluoride trays, "Sarah Guthrie, CCRI dental hygiene class president, told the source.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.