We talk a lot about mission trips and traveling to other countries to help less fortunate folks get quality dental care. In fact, WoodlandsOnline.com recently released an article about our travels to Guatemala to provide some much needed dental care.
We believe we have been blessed in order to be a blessing to others in need. You may ask, “Is there really a need to send large groups of dentists down to central America to clean someone’s teeth?” and the answer is a resounding “yes!”
We take for granted, or many don’t know, that our public water sources are supplemented with fluoride. Yep. The stuff in toothpaste and mouthwash that prevents tooth decay. Poorer and less developed countries may have very few instances of fluoridated public water supplies. In many places where ground wells are the norm, no such treatment is available.
In developed countries, you can go online or drive down the block and find multiple dentists in your immediate area. Whether you have a basic cleaning or have some needed work done, you likely have insurance to pay much of the cost. This is not the case in other countries where there may be one dentist serving multiple villages or no dental professionals at all.
Here, we are bombarded with advertisements, public service announcements and piles of marketing materials in our mail box. We have hundreds of toothpastes, mouthwashes, flosses, brushes, rinses and bleaches to choose from. We’re reminded to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once.
In places like Guatemala and Honduras a toothbrush and toothpaste may be considered a luxury item when some kids don’t have shoes on their feet.
Since we can only offer what we have to give, we give of our time and our talents in order to serve those who can use our help. Our area of influence may be small, but our reach can be broad and can pave the way for positive change in the lives of people who may have been suffering from dental pain for years. Wherever we go, our goal is to provide the knowledge and the tools to have a happy, healthy smile.
After all, as we like to say around here, Happiness Starts with a Smile.