Annual School Oral Health Program Poster Contest Accepting Submissions
A field consultant for MCD's School Oral Health Program (SOHP) performs an oral health screening.
The annual School Oral Health Program (SOHP) poster contest is accepting submissions throughout February from Maine public school students in preschool through sixth grade.
Coordinated by MCD Global Health and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students are challenged to create an illustrated poster on what oral health means to them. Following the American Dental Association’s observance of National Children’s Dental Health Month, this year’s theme is Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles.
The deadline to submit a poster for the contest is 5 p.m. Thursday, February 29. Read the details and rules for the contest (PDF). For questions about the contest or to submit a poster, email SOHP@mcd.org.
Public voting takes place in four separate categories based on grade in the first week of March, and winners from each category receive a prize that includes an electronic toothbrush, floss, reading material, toothpaste, and more (view last year’s winners).
Submitted posters will be available for public voting for a few days after the posters are gathered, and winners will be notified by Friday, March 8.
Danielle Peterson, Ed.D., (image at left) the new SOHP manager who joined in November 2023, is coordinating with Maine public schools about the poster contest.
Peterson, an independent practice dental hygienist (IPDH), has a doctorate in education and leadership in health care from Nebraska Methodist College and a master’s in health administration from St. Joseph’s College. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience after serving as a faculty member at the University of New England’s Dental Hygiene Program.
In her new role, Peterson aims to increase access to foundational oral health services to all school-age children in Maine and empower children with knowledge and support for taking care of their own oral health and being proud of their smile.
“Children's dental health in Maine continues to be an area of concern with high cavity rates and difficulty accessing care,” she said. “We are optimistic that through collaboration and partnerships, we can provide services to the children in Maine that could have a lasting impact.”
Once a year, MCD’s team of registered dental hygienists and school nurses, along with volunteer dentists, perform oral screenings and fluoride varnish treatments to students in Maine public schools.