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.
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.
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.