Oral Care Camp 4

All the oral care fun has come to an end, that is at least for the girls.  The next group to instruct is the Joshua House boys.

One of the first questions I asked is what the most feared thing was for them upon entering the dental clinic?  It was unanimous!  THE NEEDLE!

I immediately explained that the only reason the doctor would use a needle is if they had a bad tooth and that THE NEEDLE was really their “friend”.  It was used for numbing the area so that the doctor could help them with their bad tooth.  I encouraged them to do a good job of brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods so that all they needed was a good cleaning.

Showing a special dental model for teaching looks and feels like the real mouth with soft tissues with Madame Bernadette’s help.
Dental Clinic Tour with Jackson helping translate.

I then showed them another tooth model.  This model looks and feels like the real mouth with soft tissues.  With this small area the dentist needs helpful tools to look at each of their teeth so he could see well in such a small place.  Using the model, I inserted my small mirror with a light and demonstrated what the dentist would do and say upon what he was seeing.  Using these tools he could tell what teeth were good and what teeth were bad or the teeth that needed a little help.  The dentist would also use a special tool to measure pockets in the gum and see how healthy their gums were: The higher the number the worse the condition.  The lower the number the better it was.

I gave them a quick oral quiz of the most important things I covered during the four weeks and then gave them a tour of the dental clinic showing the whole process, the chair, the light, the X-ray, and the tools.

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Group One – The smallest girls with Madame Bernadette holding the Hydrogen Peroxide.
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Group Two – Jackson with the middle aged girls.

Before handing out to each of the attendees’ their own personal Oral Care Kit with tooth brush, floss, and toothpaste, I showed a film of a real cleaning.  Again, I encourage them to take care of their teeth because they are very important for their overall health.

Another thing I gave each housing unit was a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, a very timely gift from another ministry in Haiti that was moving and getting rid of a lot of their medical supplies.  The house mothers and girls were instructed to use this to clean their tooth brushes at least once a week.  Equally important are all those who donated toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss to made this camp a success.

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A special thanks to Dr. Tom Bieber, DDS, from Lake Dental Associates in Clear Lake, IA, for donating the tooth model. It was another great hit.
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A special thanks to Arise Haiti for their timely donation of Hydrogen Peroxide. It was truly appreciated by the girls and house mothers.

Oral Care Camp 3

The Internal Toothbrush

It is my opinion that knowledge is empowering, and if there is a way to share even difficult to understand subjects, one should try.  This is why I like using pictures.  These pictures are incredibly valuable teaching tool to help explain these difficult concepts, especially very helpful for my younger audience.  No matter what age, I think that all ages appreciate and benefit from this style of teaching.

Oral Care Camp 3 002I began with a summary of the past classes and shared that we know about the external toothbrush.  But I said there is another toothbrush to know about.  It is called the Internal Toothbrush which is just as important as the external one or maybe even more important.

So yes, you guessed it, I talked about the tooth anatomy and that our teeth are living and hungry, so they need nutrition just like the rest of our body does.

sensitive-teethUsing a straw as a model, I described how each tooth has thousands of straw like tubes that feed our teeth nutrition from the foods and drinks that we consume.  I showed pictures of these tubes inside of the tooth.  How it works is like tree and its root system. The tree is fed by the water and soil nutrients by sucking the nutrients up through the roots “straws” to feed it to be healthy.  The right nutrition creates the right conditions for health.  The “straws” in the teeth do the same thing so we can feed our teeth and give them health.

Now here is where I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share about nutrition.  After all, that is my specialty.  I talked about the kinds of foods that our teeth need and the kinds that our teeth have a difficult time staying healthy with.  This included showing pictures of processed foods and drinks that contain sugar in them and how sugar feeds all the bad bugs in our mouth.  Also included were pictures that showed the right foods and how they help the teeth, because those foods have the vitamins and mineral nutrients in them that the teeth need to stay healthy.  I encouraged them by saying that Haiti is a special place even though it is very tiny dot on the world map.  God has given them many gifts, two of them include Moringa and Cacao Chocolate, which are both trees that grow in Haiti and I thought that they should use these gifts that God gave them.

Oral Care Camp 3 011In conclusion, I did a scientific experiment which included two eggs, coke, and vinegar.  I explained that the eggs represented our teeth because our teeth are made of the same minerals as the egg shell.  After I poured the coke and the vinegar in each glass and I walked around the room showing them all the bubbles. I told them that these bubbles were acid that was eating the egg shell which represented the outer enamel layer of their tooth.  I dismissed the class saying that I would conclude the experiment by showing them at Monday Night Bible Study what happens to the eggs

Oral Care Camp 3 013Well, Monday Night Bible Study rolled around and a number of the little girls were relaxing on a trampoline in their recreation area said, “Do you have the eggs?”  Girls of every age were sitting in the centralized gazebo living area said, “Where are the eggs?”  Hahaha, they were excited, but I said after the Bible Study, I would show them.  I was hoping they would be able to concentrate on the Bible study.  They did just fine. *:) happy At the right time, I brought out the eggs.  I took a toothbrush and put toothpaste on it and started brushing the egg with the coke stain just like you would to brush your teeth to show them that it is important to brush long enough (at least 2 minutes softly) and that brushing regularly to help keep the teeth white and remove the sugars that the bad bugs like is important.   Then I got out the egg soaked in vinegar and gave each of the girls that wanted to a chance to touch the vinegar egg.  Exclamations, wows, gasping, all explain their reactions.  Some even seemed a little nervous touching the egg.  I traveled around the gazebo to different groups showing how the egg was rubbery and could now bounce because it was soft and rubbery.  In showing the final group how it bounced a few times, the egg finally broke.  I explained this experiment shows us how acid can destroy and damage teeth.

I was very pleased with the overall receptivity and reaction of the girls.  Between helpful pictures and a few simple experimental items, this took what could have been a boring and difficult presentation into an enjoyable learning experience.

May I encourage you to use your internal toothbrush to create a healthy smile.  I think you will be glad you if you do, because “A healthy smile is a beautiful smile.”


Oral Care Camp Week 2

photo 1 (1)Week 2FrontToothModels

Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, but images are great for empowering, implanting and enhancing memory.

Showing them microscopic images of the “bad bugs / bacteria” that live in your mouth resulted in many wrinkled faces and gasps with all age levels.  Every bit of information was building upon itself for the climactic ending that I will share in a second.

After doing a quick review on brushing, when to change your toothbrush and how to clean your toothbrush, because it too harbors these bad bugs after brushing, we covered the how and why we should be flossing, because every part of the tooth doesn’t get clean by just brushing.  Two volunteers performed live demonstration of the two front teeth and Zachery using his arms to show how not to floss and how to floss.

photo 4At the very end we did an activity.  I had them chew Red Cote tablets for 30 seconds and had them spit it out.  They then were to return to the classroom to receive an explanation on the purpose of that tablet.  An image was showed to them and an explanation as to what your teeth should look like if you had brushed well and what they would look like if they had not.  It was truly fun to see them laughing and smiling at each other with red mouths and teeth.

Word spread quickly after the first class about the Red Cote tablets. It was wonderful to see my class fill up quickly and not seem like “pulling teeth” to get them there.  No pun intended.

After explaining the picture to them, we encouraged them to run to the bathroom and look in the mirror, then finish brushing their teeth where they had missed. They did just that.  I should clarify that the younger girls were all smiles and giggling, but the older girls didn’t want to open their mouths.  When Les went to the area where the girls living area is, there were all kinds of girls grabbing their toothbrushes to do a better job.Michaela3 (1)

Three of the house mothers were able to attend, but the others were busy preparing food.  They had heard news about the class and wanted their own Red Coat Tablets.  I said I would arrange for a class with them another time and I would hand them their own.


Oral Care Camp

Week 1

Coordinating a seminar can be very challenging at the Center.  There is usually so much happening.

I arrived at CCH ready to present the first Oral Care Camp.  The plan was to teach to all the girls and house-mothers, but no one was ready and no one had heard about it.  I confess that even though I should have expected this, I was disappointed.  One thing I have a very difficult time with is adjusting on the fly, and you would think I had the flexibility thing down by now.

I thought, “Now what.”  I had just collected a group of the youngest girls, all ready and eager to hear and learn, but with no translator, and all rooms locked.  We had tried to contact Jackson our translator, but couldn’t get ahold of him.

AtiAtinia (Elicia)nia (Elcia) and Yvelande volunteered to help keep order with the 3-6 year olds.  They ended up helping me translate for five minutes with their little English and my little Creole.  We were just managing; but, I had some good information to share and wasn’t able to share it with all of our limitations.  But then someone came who knew some English and helped me until Jackson came to help.

I11828618_10153090918263105_3968358478704595304_nn spite of the days start in disorderliness and frustration, the Oral Care Camp went very well; and, I also think they enjoyed the information given, especially information about the tooth and body connection.
I was able to teach most of the girls and house-mothers, mostly in smaller groups as they were able to come.  I have hopes that next week it will be more organized.  I do have plans on teaching tooth care to the Joshua House boys and the James 1:27 Widows and the caretakers for the babies.
P1040464The Oral Care Camp will run for another three weeks on Saturday.  These camps are meant to give small, quick “bites” of information no longer than 30 minutes.
Today’s seminar touched on brushing: when to brush, how to brush, and why brushing the teeth is so important, and that there is more than one reason to take care of our teeth and to have a pretty smile.
A special thanks to Dr. Tom Bieber, DDS, fromP1040466 Clear Lake, IA, for donating the tooth model.  It was a hit.  They really liked it.  Their comment was “Bèl dan blan” which means “Beautiful white teeth”.