|During his week stay in San Pedro, Dr. Louis Lam (DDS) (left) volunteered much of his time conducting oral examinations, filling cavities and extracting teeth. He emphasized that dental hygiene education is essential for children to understand why and how to take care of their teeth.
|Volunteer Sue Hoveland, teaches students proper oral hygiene. Here she demonstrates the “art of flossing.” After her session each student received a packet with new toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.
With the continued efforts of visiting dentists who generously volunteer their expertise and services, the children of San Pedro now have an added sparkle to their smile. Mark Johnson, Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and his wife Joan Johnson, Dental Hygienist (DH), who reside on Ambergris Caye, assist in organizing the dental teams who come to San Pedro to not only enjoy the beauty of our island but to help those who are in need of dental care. Through a new dental clinic established in the San Pedro Polyclinic II, patients of all ages are receiving topnotch dental care at no cost. The clinic has been fully equipped with modern dental equipment and supplies, all generously donated by health care professionals who care about the dental health of San Pedro residents.
In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Dr. Johnson explained that the credit goes to the incredible dedication of their many volunteers. As the word has spread about their efforts they are now getting volunteers from all over the USA. Dr. Louis Lam (DDS) is from California and a first time visitor to San Pedro. During his one week stay in San Pedro he has been busy conducting oral exams, filling cavities and extracting teeth. Dr. Lam commented that the onslaught of “junk food” to the island, along with poor dental hygiene habits are the primarily causes for the dental problems he has treated. He emphasized that dental hygiene education needs to be diligently taught in the schools and diligently enforced in the home. These preventative measures can mean a life time of healthy teeth. He exclaimed with a smile, “The children must brush, brush, and brush!” Dr. Lam also purchased and donated new dental drills for the clinic and Ramon’s Resort generously donated his accommodations during his stay.
Another volunteer, Doug Hoveland, came here to help provide technical support, such as repairing the film processor for the X-ray machine. His wife, Sue Hoveland, taught oral hygiene to the students and after they completed their oral examination each student received a packet with new toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.
Students from Isla Bonita School were some of the first to attend the clinic last week, and Joan Johnson explained that the project aims to treat children from all of the schools on the island. When The San Pedro Sun asked the group of volunteers how else the community can assist them with their efforts they explained that it is expensive for volunteers to travel here and if more hotels, like Ramon’s, could donate or discount rooms it would make the trip more affordable. They also mentioned that adding fluoride to the town’s drinking water would be an inexpensive and very beneficial step towards dental health in the community. Those who are interested in helping this worthy effort may contact Mark Johnson at 206-2526.
The San Pedro Sun applauds the dedicated volunteers and encourages the community to assist their program in any way possible.