Dentists brighten children’s smiles at the Smile Clinic Too
Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Three dentists were on the island from April 7th to 9th, offering free dental care for students at Holy Cross Anglican School. The visiting dentists were at the San Pedro Smile Clinic Too on the invitation of Doctor Mark Johnson, the founder of the clinic.
During the three days the doctors saw over 90 students. Heading the group is Dr. JoAnn Boraas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, who explained that the three doctors wanted to do something special since it has been exactly 30 years that they graduated from dental school along with Dr Mark Johnson. “Dr Johnson, after establishing the Smile Clinic, has been bringing several of his former dental classmates to offer free clinics for the people and children of San Pedro. We decided to come this time around to volunteer at the clinic,” said Borass. The other two doctors are Kristi O’kane from Saint Paul Minnesota, USA and Kristin Kenner of Double Drake, North Dakota, USA.
According to Dr. Borass, they are doing comprehensive care for children and addressing various cases of dental problems at the school’s dental clinic. “The first thing we do is to conduct an evaluation of their teeth to determine if they have any cavities or other problems that we can address. One of the things we did is called dental sealants, which is a special coating placed in the grooves of the permanent molars to reduce the chances of getting cavities in the teeth. One of the primary and large focus is to do preventative care that is beneficial to the kids for their whole life. We also took time to educate the children on how to take better care of their teeth. We talked to them about some of the food that can impact their teeth. Some of the children did have cavities and so we are also did some filling while we removed some teeth because the cavities were deep and their teeth had become infected,” explained Borass. The dentists and their volunteer assistants also placed fluoride varnish on the children’s teeth to help strengthen the enamel.
Once the children were seen, they were each given a dental kit which included tooth brushes, toothpastes and dental flosses to take home. They were also given a small gift for their cooperation. It is the hope of the doctors to return on another occasion to help carry out more volunteer work on the island. It is also the hope of Dr Johnson to build a second clinic at one of the two larger public schools that would be able to accommodate similar volunteer groups in the future.