Good dental hygiene is essential for the health and happiness of growing children. In the Philippines, tooth decay is a widespread problem afflicting many children and adults. Last year, at a routine heath check at our sponsor site in Tondo, almost 100% of our 1325 sponsored children had cavities.
Tooth decay and gum disease have a serious effect on both children and adults. Tooth issues can weaken bodily defenses for serious and potentially dangerous diseases and infections. Poor oral health also negatively affects school performance. In the Philippines, toothache is the primary cause of absenteeism, and reduces confidence and self-esteem due to pain and missing or decayed teeth.
Every child deserves to have a strong, beautiful smile. Our new Zero Cavities project aims to treat and eradicate cavities for sponsored children and their siblings at our Tondo site. Children receive dental treatment for current issues, regular fluoride rinses, and are being taught how to properly care for their teeth at home.
“With the daily struggle to provide food on the table, oral health has been the least attended need of the family,” says Eunice, our Tondo site director. “Slowly, our sponsored children and families will learn the importance of good oral health.”
The project is already underway, and dentists at our site are working hard to achieve our goal of zero cavities among our sponsored children! “We are blessed to collaborate with a pool of dentists willing to work with us towards this goal,” Eunice smiles. “To keep children cavity free may be a huge challenge, but their sweet smiles after would only confirm that Zero Cavities is possible,”
So far, 428 children have been able to see a dentist, have their cavities treated, and teeth cleaned. The children will also have the opportunity to come back for a checkup in six month’s time to ensure their teeth are in good shape after the dental work. By the end of the year, it’s our goal to have 2400 children receive treatment!
“We hope to create a community with awareness and practices good dental hygiene,”Eunice says.” “The smiles we received after are precious, and the confidence it brings to each and every child is priceless.”