Our Kokchan School Dental Mission took place from 21-29 March as planned.
It was very well organized with our experienced partners One-2-One Cambodia Team of Dentists, Dental Assistants and their support crew under the leadership of Mr Boeurn Ban. The team of 14 people with 7 mobile dental chairs operated in a classroom of this local village elementary school for the very first time. We also had students from two neighboring schools that have been treated in previous Dental Missions, return voluntarily for a follow up.
Outside of the mobile clinic there was a fun and interactive Oral Hygiene Instruction with Mr Good Tooth and Mr Bad Tooth as well as the Dental Dinosaur. The kids were instructed on how to correctly brush their teeth. They were each given a toothbrush and toothpaste to take home and they have one at school as well in special wall cloth holders with their names on the pockets holding toothbrushes.
The total results for the 618 combined patients were 247 extractions, 562 fillings, 7 scalings, 525 sealants, 49 duraphats and 300 silver diamond fluoride treatments. The teachers at the schools were offered a check-up and it was positive for the students to see the adults being treated and for the teachers to personally experience dental work and understand the importance of dental hygiene to enforce our Dental Program at their schools. A total of 84 patients didn’t want to see the dentist.
The 57 preschoolers from both of our preschools were transported to the mobile clinic so we could start a good oral care program while they are still young and can form good habits. They are now on the way to good dental hygiene under the supervision of their preschool teachers.
As you see on average nearly every child had at least one filling and every second child a tooth extraction. In reality the situation is worse, as some children have better teeth or take better care of them with no need for dental work, many other children then have half their teeth affected. To the horror of our dental team there were a few teenagers who came that have only six of their permanent teeth in their mouth.
We are aware that the cheap sugary snacks and sodas that are being sold on the school campus have not helped the situation. So, we are trying very hard to ban all sugar from the campus and will keep monitoring this.
Looking forward to having more regular teeth brushing at school and at home to keep oral hygiene at an excellent level and therefore subsequent Dental Missions with better teeth and healthier smiles.
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