Monday, June 14, 2010
The other day at a party I was playing with one of the kids and noticed that his teeth had large black marks in between each tooth (not the picture above). I asked my brother-in-law about it and he told me the kid was, "Just at that age". So, we all know, there is no age where kids teeth should be rotting. It shouldn't happen at all. While it is true baby teeth will fall out, you have the same gums your whole life. Letting teeth rot on the assumption that they will fall out anyways can still affect your gums.
I see kids with dental neglect more frequently here then I did back home. This is not to say all kids have dental problems--it definitely runs along economic lines. I was talking to a 17year-old that had a full set of dentures. Her dental problems were so extreme that the dentist felt the only feasible (read remotely affordable) option was to take all the teeth out and put dentures in.
I have been hardcore with the kids in our extended family about dental care. How to brush one's teeth, how often, how many minutes one should brush, and how to floss.
Every Christmas is our annual toothbrush/toothpaste giveaway. I think we are up to 400-500 a year now. We give them to all the kids in the neighborhood as well as the street kids we see around Christmas. Randomly the other night we were driving down Roxas and I had a small bag of girls clothing to give away. We found a girl selling flowers that was the right size so we called her over. She got to our car and said, "Hey, you are the one's who give out the toothbrushes!". Bwah ha-ha. See! Six months later and she remembers! We are slowing giving the kids the tools they need to have good teeth always.