|Feb, 27 2012 By Mary Daly
It's not often that the principal greets the Tooth Taxi as it pulls in. Myrtle Creek Elementary Principal Darla Waite-Larkin met us as we pulled in, stacking up cones from our reserved parking area. That warm welcome set the tone for a great week.
Snow! Snow! Snow! A beautiful unexpected snowstorm! A lot of kids were absent from school, some were not able to get out from their homes in the mountains. Coffenberry Middle School just up the hill from the Elementary school was bathed in glorious morning light and snow. We treated some middle school students in addition to the elementary kids.
Catherine our assistant worked on the portable unit in one of the temporary classrooms providing cleanings to students.
A parent who stopped by to see what the Tooth Taxi was all about commented, "You're like Teeth Rock n' Roll stars."
We wrapped up the week with great news, our assistant Chanel Kim received a call on Friday as we were headed back to Portland; she has been accepted to the dental school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona California. CONGRATULATIONS Chanel!
We had 3 parent volunteers that helped us throughout the week, enabling us to be more efficient and treat more students. They also put together several oral hygiene kits for us.
From the kid gallery:
A 4th grader at the screening: "I'm surrounded by little kids," And then the middle school kids showed up and he says, "Oh, great, big kids!"
Kid whispered to another kid waiting in the screening line. "Its safe" (about fluoride varnish)
Asked a Kindergarten patient what she got from the Tooth Fairy: "3 quarters, 4 pennies, 7 diamonds and 2 dollars."
Realities from the road:
A middle school student lives in a 5th wheel and spends evenings at Seven Feathers Casino Resort for a place to hang out and draw.
"I live on my Grandfather's living room couch."
If you haven't seen a recent article from the NY Times on the state of children's oral decay, it is alarming. Click here to read the article.
•69% of students screened needed treatment
•31% needed no treatment.
Myrtle Creek Elementary School, February 27 – March 1, 2012
•45 students screened
•75 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
•38 students treated in the van
•$15,963 value of free dental services provided.
Tooth Taxi, September 4, 2008 – March 1, 2012
•11,107 students screened
•10,125 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
•4,705 students treated in the van
•$2,902,497 value of free dental services provided.