With colorful trolley buses and dental assistants dressed as tooth fairies, the Chevron Tooth Trolley makes going to the dentist a reason to smile.
For the ninth consecutive year, Chevron Canada teamed up with the Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Vancouver Trolley Company to bring a fun dental care experience to children and families without dental insurance in Vancouver and Burnaby, B.C.
Left to right: Chris Richardson, chair, Vancouver School Board; Emma Walsh, student; Sherry Messenger, instructor; Margaret Dennett, instructor; Vanessa Wong, student; Dr. Peter Nunoda, president and CEO, Vancouver Community College; and Adrien Byrne, Chevron Canada representative.
“Our concern has always been for the children who slip through the cracks,” said Margaret Dennett, a certified dental assistant instructor and co-lead of this year’s program.
The Tooth Trolley was developed by Chevron and VCC in response to a need for dental health services among vulnerable populations in the Lower Mainland. Dental health is extremely important to overall health, and lack of preventative care can lead to cavities, infections and general pains.
In children, these adverse effects are amplified, and lack of proper dental care can cause issues with sleeping and growth, and interfere with self-esteem and learning.
“The Tooth Trolley program has treated more than 1,000 children since 2004,” said Adrien Byrne, Policy, Government and Public Affairs representative with Chevron. “We’re thrilled to be able to help families get the access to the dental care they need through a fun and imaginative program developed to make dental care accessible to all.”
The event, which ran May 19 to 22, brought children and families from elementary schools in Burnaby and Vancouver to the VCC Dental Clinic, located in downtown Vancouver. Families made the trip in old-fashioned trolleys from the Vancouver Trolley Company, and were welcomed by dental assistants and students dressed up as tooth fairies to make the process less intimidating.
Participants received free exams and treatments, learned about nutrition and dental care, and received healthy snacks and dental care products to take home courtesy of Chevron Canada, Sunstar and Colgate.