I hadn’t been to the dentist in two years. I finally made an appointment, but was really nervous about what issues might be discovered.
Of course, I brushed my teeth regularly. But I often forgot to floss. Up until recently, I was a good dental patient who paid a biannual visit to get my teeth cleaned and checked, with only one cavity on my record. Who knew what kind of mayhem may have secretly been developing in molar-land these last couple of years?
The dentist confirmed my fears: I had two cavities. Fortunately, the fillings only required about 15 minutes, minimal pain, and a low out-of-pocket cost. It was a piece of cake (don’t tell my dentist I mentioned cake).
Dental hygiene isn’t so simple in developing countries.
Tooth pain for a year
In Juana Cristina’s village in Nicaragua, very little importance was placed on taking care of one’s teeth. Because she wasn’t taught how to care for her teeth properly, she began to suffer regularly from severe toothaches. The pain was so intense that Juana Cristina often couldn’t sit through class, and teachers would send her home. She couldn’t get treatment for this ailment because the medical center was so far away and would cost more than her family could afford – so she endured the pain for a year.
Things turned around for Juana Cristina and her entire village when Food for the Hungry hosted a health fair, which included dental services. Through attending the health fair, Juana Cristina received tooth restoration, extraction of the painfully decayed teeth, and flouride application. More than 200 other children and adults from the village also received dental attention and learned proper tooth-brushing techniques.
Back in school
After receiving dental treatment, Juana Cristina and many other children no longer struggle with the toothaches that kept them from attending school. And now that they’ve been taught how to take care of their teeth, future dental problems can be prevented, too.
By sponsoring a child with Food for the Hungry, you can help provide basic needs – like medical care and education – for children who are lacking them. Children should not have to miss school because of painful toothaches and other health problems that are so easily preventable. Please consider sponsoring a child and empowering her to invest in her future.