An Orthodontist Who Cares about Preventing Social Isolation
Social isolation often begins in middle school and continues in high school because adolescents are prone to developing cliques that exclude others. While teachers may combat this behavior in classrooms with group activities that require cooperative teamwork, students still exclude others in locations such as the school cafeteria or activities after school. Beyond Differences located in San Francisco is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to educating the public about the detrimental effects of social isolation and offer ways to stop the behavior during the sensitive adolescent years. Anyone can donate to Beyond Differences, and the organization already has an important sponsor located in Larkspur, Calif. Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics has two orthodontists who want to promote including others in all activities to create a feeling of camaraderie.
Beyond Differences Focuses on Stopping Social Isolation
Beyond Differences has three ways to prevent social isolation in middle and high school environments, including:
• No One Eats Alone – designed to encourage socializing during lunch
• Be Kind Online – discouraging unkind behavior online
• Be the One – a pledge and commitment to not exclude others
Beyond Difference dispenses its important message with an online website, videos and publications that are suitable for teachers, students and parents who want to implement and follow the suggestions made by the organization. Anyone interested in preventing social isolation in schools can request curriculum designed for teaching lessons or newsletters for parents and the general public. All lessons begin by helping people understand what social isolation is and how it affects anyone who is perceived as different from others. Some of the issues covered concern including classmates who have mental or physical challenges.
The orthodontists working at Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics are happy to sponsor Beyond Differences because many of their patients are teenagers struggling with social isolation. The adolescent patients visiting this orthodontic facility frequently need to wear headgear, retainers or braces to correct abnormalities of their facial or mouth’s structure. Conditions such as cleft lip or palate can cause deformities of the mouth that require many years of orthodontic treatment in order to repair the positions of teeth so that an individual can speak properly, chew food and have a beautiful smile. In many cases, an individual undergoing orthodontic treatment is ostracized by their peers because they look different.
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.
She is Board Certified in Orthodontics. She received the American Association of Orthodontics Award for Craniofacial Research and the Harvard Odontological Society Award for Excellence in Research. Her work on preventing decay around braces has been published in the American Journal of Orthodontics.