Friday, November 24, 2023

Dentist Visits and Haircuts: What Fun!

Teaching dental care and encouraging good personal hygiene.

Sometimes, our students do not brush or floss and eat candy when the opportunity arises.  This leads to problems.  Many of their parents are missing teeth.  A person over 60 years old may only have half of their original 32 teeth.

In early times, the villagers' diet mainly consisted of fruit, tubers, fish, limited vegetables, and infrequent wild game.  But with more significant contact with modern processed food, their teeth have become much worse.

Part of what we do is to educate our students on good oral hygiene practices.  We do this by talking with them and using pamphlets and videos when computers or tablets are available.

We always bring donated toothbrushes and other oral care items from the States.

In extreme cases, the students may need to have many teeth restored and some extracted.  This boy lost one permanent tooth and needed five restorations.

Dental care costs in Colombia are about one-fourth of what it costs in the US.

We also have a tradition of getting haircuts when we do the school shopping for the scholarship students.

Many barber shops are in the Port of Leticia, the closest large city to the village.

After getting a haircut, we did the school shopping.  In all, a very successful day!

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