Kool Smiles helps Peace Corps deliver dental supplies to children in rural Guyanese village
Students in Haimaracabra, Guyana learn about the importance of brushing and flossing during a health education session led by Peace Corps volunteers.
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“Premature tooth decay is widespread in this region, especially among children, but some people don't even have toothbrushes,” added Thomason. “Tooth cleanings and fillings are luxuries unknown to my community. We want to focus on prevention rather than intervention. And thanks to Kool Smiles’ donation, we were able to do exactly that.”
Thomason, with the help of a local Medex (or nurse practitioner), organized a dental health fair at a community health center and conducted health education sessions in Haimaracabra’s nursery and primary schools. Through creative instruction, such as the use of music, Peace Corps members promoted healthy dental practices such as brushing your teeth, cleaning your toothbrush, and flossing. As part of the outreach, each student received much-needed dental kits, which included toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.
“At Kool Smiles, we work each day to promote good dental health here in America, especially among traditionally underserved communities,” said D. Ray Gifford, DDS, managing dental director at Kool Smiles. “However, we also recognize that dental health needs extend far past our borders here in the US. We are very grateful to the Peace Corps for providing dental health education and supplies in Guyana and throughout the world.”
“While often overlooked, good oral health is critical to a child’s overall health, as tooth decay can lead to malnutrition, life-threatening infections, poor school performance, and reluctance to speak, smile and play,” added Gifford. “Moving forward, the promotion of healthy smiles, especially among children, should serve as a principal public health goal in the US and abroad. Through collective action, we can truly make a difference.”
The dental kit donation was made possible by a sponsorship from the Benevis Foundation.