In September, we began screening children for dental problems, after reports from our medical team indicated many urgent needs. We began working with a local dentist to perform the screenings at each school, in order to identify the children with the greatest needs.
Ashlyn is six years old and lives in the community El Jícaro. She is in first grade at the school in her community and participates actively in our education program. Her mother came to the school on the day of the dental screenings, to ask for our help. Our dentist soon discovered that Ashlyn had severe problems and needed emergency treatment and she was scheduled for the first week in October.
The following week, Ashly was treated by our dentist. She had six extractions and six fillings, a very difficult visit for such a young girl. Unfortunately, poor nutrition and oral hygiene are common in Nicaragua, affecting many children. With the economic crisis, it is difficult for Ashlyn’s parents to purchase toothpaste. However, we will be working to promote more public health activities in each school.
Despite the pain and discomfort that she experienced, when we ran into Ashlyn a few days later, she was wearing a brand new smile.