Last month we had the privilege to be a part of a team of 73 on a trip to Quito, Ecuador, with Dental Community Fellowship. Although the group was mostly from Charleston, South Carolina, there were also members from Indiana and the United Kingdom. There were 25 dental students as part of the team.
The trip had three main focuses: providing care for the under-served, mentoring students, and partnering with a local church. All of these purposes allowed for caring for those that lack financial resources for dental treatment and the professional development of students.
The clinic was set up with mobile equipment to provide cleanings, extractions and fillings. As mentor dentists, we rotated around the various stations including triage, dental hygiene, anesthesia, fillings and extractions. The team provided over 1,500 procedures in dental. There was also an eyeglass team that improved the sight of over 500 people. As well, every day a team went to local schools to provide dental education and dispense toothbrushes to thousands of students.
Quito is a beautiful city of over 4 million people that straddles the plateau between two ranges of the Andes and sits at 9,000 feet on the equator. It was mentioned above that it was a privilege to go on this trip and it was. We are amazed at how God puts together a ‘tapestry’ of wonderful new friends to work together toward a common goal. Thanks to the people of Ecuador who blessed us with kindness and smiles, and great food!
Trip to Peru - January 2017
Last month Dr. Tom and I spent a week in Pisac, Peru, providing dental care for the local townspeople of this small town high in the Andes Mountains.
We were part of a team of twenty four dentists, dental students, interpreters, and auxiliaries sent out by Dental Community Fellowship of South Carolina.
We worked four days in a clinic set up in a large room at a retreat center on the edge of town. The local people were notified of the free clinic by radio and leaflet, and over the course of the week over 800 dental and optical services were rendered, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, fitting for reading glasses, and even a few root canals. What a delight it was to meet the native Quechuan people, live in their town, and help them in a practical way.
At the end of the week we had the thrill of seeing Machu Picchu. You can bet Dr. Tom was snapping photos like crazy!
Here is a photo account of the week:
Happy New Year!
Listed below are three random facts that are relevant to mouths and dentistry, procured from my inbox:
1. Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent.
2. The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.
3. Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
Hooray for the oral cavity and its uniqueness!
Here’s to another year of dental health and great smiles.
December 5, 2016 is the date when areas of Santa Clara County will begin receiving fluoridated water.
Here are the zip codes of fully or partially fluoridated water as of December 5, 2016:
94022 94024 94028 94040 94041
94043 94085 94086 94089 94301
94303 94304 94305 94306 95002
95008 95032 95035 95054 95111
95112 95116 95118 95120 95121
95122 95123 95124 95125 95127
95131 95132 95133 95134 95135
95136 95138 95148
Interestingly enough, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) voted to fluoridate its water five years ago, in 2011. It has taken this long to fund and implement the change. Fluoridation for the entire county is expected to be complete by 2020.
Non-fluoridated zip codes:
94087 95013 95014 95020 95030
95037 95046 95050 95051 95053
95070 95110 95113 95117 95119
95126 95128 95129 95130 95139
94550 95023 95033 95140 95141
If you live in an area that will be newly fluoridated, we recommend that you discontinue your children’s fluoride supplements starting in December. (Fluoride drops or fluoride in vitamins are regularly prescribed when drinking water is non-fluoridated.)
Questions? The SCVWD has a great website: http://www.valleywater.org/services/Fluoridation.aspx
Question: Is the water in the South Bay fluoridated?
Answer: It’s complicated.
First, some background info. What’s the big deal about fluoride?
Fluoride has been shown to be a player in the fight against tooth decay (i.e., cavities). Fluoride gives teeth resistance to acid attack from the bacteria in plaque. It also reverses early decay by remineralizing the enamel of your teeth.
Fluoride comes in two forms: topical and ingested. The topicals are toothpastes, mouth rinses and in-office varnish we paint on your teeth. Ingested fluorides are swallowed, like supplements and fluoridated water.
20-40% = the decrease in tooth decay when fluoride is added to a community water supply.
So…….fluoride in your water IS a big deal because it helps you, and everyone else in town, not get cavities. It really works!
Is it safe? Yes. “After 60 years of research and practical experience, the preponderance of scientific evidence indicates…..(fluoride is) both safe and effective”, says the American Dental Association website: http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/fluoridation_facts.pdf?la=en
Fun fact: The CDC has proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Not-so-fun fact: San Jose is the largest city in the US without fluoridated water.
But that is about to change! Stay tuned.
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