Alexandria “Lexi” Walker
Colorado State University - 2023
Major: Nutrition and Food Science, Minor in Chem, Pre-dental
Project: For my project, I have researched nutrition, good oral hygiene practices, chronic diseases, homelessness and all correlations between these topics. I hope to be able to talk to local dentists and ask for donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss that people usually get after every hygiene visit. I plan to package and distribute these to the local homeless people that I serve at the Fort Collins Rescue Mission. My plan is to give one bag to every person when they’re getting their meal an informational pamphlet regarding the importance of dental health & overall health. My goals and visions are to fill a void by supplying resources and educating others to help improve dental hygiene and the overall health of homeless and low-income people.
Inspiration: When my dad was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease, it sparked my interest in the dental field due to the disease having a large effect on his oral health. Over the course of my education, I have come to realize that so much of our overall health is affected by what is going on inside our mouths. According to the CDC, oral conditions are frequently considered separate from other chronic conditions, but these are actually interrelated. Poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. As a local volunteer myself, I can say that there is no specific work being done on the issue of dental hygiene in Fort Collins regarding homeless or low-income people and families.
Future Goals: Every member of the homeless community will have resources and access for dental health care, Continuous supplies will be donated, Find someone to eventually take over this project idea‚ Dental Hygiene will contribute to their overall health‚ More Biofilm Growth Experiment: Streptococci Viridians‚ Peru, impoverished areas, learn more, correlations? I believe that a happy, healthy, confident smile can go a long way (: