Many of us turn the corner into a New Year, reflecting back, looking for Global Dental Relief provides dental care and education to children around the worldways to challenge ourselves to greater things in the upcoming year.

We are committed to treating children across the world. Sixteen times last year, 195 wonderful volunteers flew to the farthest reaches of the earth, carrying dental supplies and willing spirits to provide dental care and oral hygiene education to children that otherwise do not have access to comprehensive, caring dental treatment. Reflecting on such an amazing 2015, what more can we do to have a greater, longer lasting, impact on the thousands of children we treat in 2016?

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change with world.” We want to change the world by providing robust oral hygiene education.

With the intention to reinforce all the dental care that we have provided over the years we have developed a new, comprehensive Oral Hygiene Educational Curriculum that will be used in all of our clinic locations staring with Cambodia next month.

Treating dental disease only goes as far as the understanding of how it develops. Detailed, reinforced oral hygiene education will contribute to a foundational education of dental diseases. With a strong foothold of understanding these children will be more equipped to make effectual changes in their own lives and health.

The revamped Oral Hygiene Education kit will include resource materials, visual aids, and videos to teach each and every child we treat how to care for their teeth. Before entering the clinic each child will receive a comprehensive lesson on toothbrushing and nutrition. While the child is in the clinic receiving the restorative treatment they need there will also be two additional educational interactions to build upon that foundation. The importance and significant impact of brushing and nutrition will be reinforced several times throughout each child’s visit.

Oral hygiene education is crucial for these children; if they do not understand what causes decay, they will continue to develop decay. With a vision to transform lives, our goal for 2016 is to make the ripple effect of our presence resonate with each child we educate.

Author Becky Bay, RDH is a trip leader and staff member at Global Dental Relief.

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