Sensodyne had a dental health spa at the Summerfest grounds again this year. Free toothbrushes, toothpaste and back packs were given out. I got a job working there as a dental hygienist.
Marla Cohen hired me. She is a hygienist that lives in Florida and travels the country to events with the Sensodyne trailer. Cohen recruits licensed dental hygienists to work in the booths inside the Sensodyne trailer.
One day I asked her about how she got into dentistry. She said she started working as an assistant in a dental office and decided to become a dental hygienist. She has a B.S. in Healthcare Administration from Florida Atlantic University and graduated from the Dade School of Dental Hygiene in Miami, Florida. She also taught at Sanford Brown Nova University Dental School for two years.
Cohen said she started out working as a hygienist in the booths six years ago. There was no manager at the time for the hygienists. She said she got an email after the second year she worked for them that Sensodyne was looking for a manager for the road show. They hired her for a third of the events and another dental hygienist from Pennsylvania managed two-thirds of the events. At first she kept her clinical hygiene jobs and worked on the weekends for Sensodyne. The hygienist from Pennsylvania left the job and Cohen took over doing all the events. Last year she took a year off.
I asked Cohen where she had gone with the Sensodyne road show.
She said they had gone to Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Charlotte, Asheville, Baltimore, Ocean City (Maryland), Springfield (Massachusetts), Hutchinson (Kansas), a town she could not remember in Delaware, Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), and a town in Upstate New York. She added they are going to New York, Pennsylvania, Traverse City (Michigan), Ann Arbor, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, San Diego, Austin, Houston, Dallas and Denver.
There were several steps to go through to work at Summerfest. It was the most difficult temporary job to get as a hygienist in the twenty years I have been working as a hygienist because of the multiple steps it takes to become employed with the marketing company.
Sensodyne had sinks with mirrors and water outside. There were tables under tents with toothbrushes and toothpaste lined up.People came inside the air conditioned trailer to hear more about Sensodyne from Registered Dental Hygienists but mostly to get the free back packs with more samples.
I had two people sit down with me from Long Island, New York. They said they would not brush in public outside. It just wasn’t something they were going to do. They also mentioned they had become more laid back since moving from Manhattan to Long Island. They also asked if I could give them a psychic reading and we talked about the show Long Island Medium and I felt that finding Theresa Caputo would be a better bet for a more accurate reading than I could give them.
A dentist came through and wasn’t going to tell me she was a dentist but her dad told me. We had both been at the Mission of Mercy event in Lake Geneva and talked about that. A staff member from the Wisconsin Dental Association also came through my booth which was nice.
Many of the Summerfest workers came inside to get the samples and see what we were doing on their breaks.
If a person had used Sensodyne and liked it I would ask them if they would give a video testimonial. Ian Bechtel, the manager of the Dental Spa, told me he had never seen one person get so many testimonials in one day as I had ever before. I was getting about 15-20 per day myself and the other hygienists were getting 1-3 per day. Luis Ruiz, the driver of the truck and assistant manager would look at the videos later and told me some of them were kind of funny. I told Marla it was easier for me to get people to do the videos since I have been doing that for stories in the past. I told her I had not planned to do a story about working at the Sensodyne booth but when she heard that I wrote she thought it would be a good idea to write this article. She kept thinking it was going to be in a newsletter. I told her it was going to be on the internet.
There were a few hygienists that quit very shortly after starting but four of us stayed until the last day. Vicki Cherco was one of them. She said she has been a hygienist for 36 years and worked last year in the Sensodyne spa. She usually works at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois. Cherco had posted Cohen’s phone number on Facebook to help recruit hygienists for Summerfest and the Taste of Chicago.
Priscilla Sampson is a hygienist and graduated from Waukesha County Technical College in 2003. She is currently working as a temporary hygienist and lives in Milwaukee.
Jenny Nithalangsy graduated from WCTC in 2013. She is looking for a job as a dental hygienist and has worked as an orthodontic assistant for seven years.