|South Umpqua High School
January 1 - 15, 2016 by Carrie Peterson
The Tooth Taxi kicked off the new year with a return visit to South Umpqua High School. During our initial visit in March of 2015, 90% of the kids screened needed treatment. With such high need we knew right away that a return trip would be necessary. To leave so many children with extensive treatment remaining was not an option. When we returned for our third trip, we were happy to find that a few had sought out treatment locally; however, most still had major work to be done in order to save their teeth.
During our time here the struggles that some of these kids face became very apparent. Many of the kids don’t live with their parents. They are bouncing back and forth between relatives and friend’s couches. We heard stories of parents in prison, others battling drug addiction, mostly absent from their children’s life. Additionally, several of these teenagers are acting as the parent to younger siblings in their household.
Despite the hardships that a large number of these kids face they had great attitudes and were very thankful for the opportunity the Tooth Taxi gave them, allowing them to take control of their own oral health. Several students committed to after school appointments. Please check out some of their smile transformations in the photos.
Realities from the road:
One young man whose house had recently burnt down reported only having one toothbrush to share between both parents house. He would often forget his toothbrush when staying with the other parent, going days without brushing. He was genuinely happy we could give him two new ones so that he could brush his teeth every day.
Dr. Jeanine Herzog
South Umpqua High School, cumulative stats from 3/15, 9/15 and 1/16
62 students screened
88 appointments in the van
79 sealants placed
$51,835 value of free dental services provided
September 2008 – January 15, 2016
• 17,123 students screened
• 18,031 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
• 9,261 appointments in the van
• $5,234,176 value of free dental services provided