Sunstar, National Dental Association program trains nurses on oral health issues

Dec. 20, 2016
Sunstar Americas and the National Dental Association team up to train nurses about oral health.

Sunstar’s Marie Wilson (center in grey jacket) with NDA-Health Now leaders Drs. Hazel Harper (fifth from the right in blue scrubs) and Nicole Cheek Cranston (fifth from the left in white lab coat), and eight pediatric nurse practitioner students.

The second annual nurses training program was conducted by Sunstar Americas and the National Dental Association (NDA) during the 2016 Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM). The program, which was titled, “Oral Health and Nursing: A Team Approach to Population Health,” instructed 118 nurses and students from Columbia University and New York University on how to take an inter-professional team approach when addressing the link between oral health and systemic health.

Participants received hands-on training on how to perform an oral health screening at a community outreach program or in a health fair setting. Participants were also given guided tours of the GNYDM exhibit hall and three presentations:

  • • Razzle Dazzle Smiles: An Overview of Oral Health and Oral Care Products
  • • What a Difference a Smile Makes: Oral Health Care for Diabetic Patients
  • • Intro to Mobile Dentistry

Sunstar donated dental products for the four-day event.

“We are proud to support a program that enables nurses to pursue the causes of both oral and systemic health,” said Marie Wilson, MPH, senior manager of scientific affairs and professional relations for Sunstar. “We hope that this groundbreaking inter-professional approach will inspire others in both the dental and medical professions to embrace the oral-systemic link.”

Dr. Hazel Harper, who is the founding director of NDA-Health Now, said, “We know from our experience with last year’s program that many of our attendees will now be conducting oral health screenings as part of their overall health exams. To have the nursing profession actively focusing on oral health is truly exciting and gratifying.”

The National Dental Association promotes oral health equity among people of color. For more information about Sunstar, please visit For more information about the NDA, visit

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