|#31 Friends of the Children
|AUG, 18 2012 By MARY DALY
Imagine being a 15 year old girl with front teeth so decayed they have holes and are black in color. That was Kari, (before and after photos of her teeth below) a young girl we met during our visit to Friends of the Children the week of August 13th. It was our second visit to this program that assigns mentors to at risk children from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Kari had experienced some frightening visits to a dentist years before and was very apprehensive about visiting the Tooth Taxi. After discussing the state of Kari's oral health with her mother, Dr. Moffitt met with Kari and helped her feel more comfortable about having treatment. Kari and her Mother agreed to make the commitment to come back for daily appointments during the week, and the results were amazing. Kari was so excited with her new smile she couldn't wait to show her friends. Kari received significant treatment on the van, helping improve her oral health, and her positive experience visiting Dr. Moffitt helped her to overcome her fear of visiting the dentist.
It was hot in Portland, one of those few days that the temperature hovers near triple digits and it's a bit too warm for the Tooth Taxi generator. A short downtime and a repair have us prepared for the next heat wave.
This was our second summer to visit Friends of the Children, a program that assigns mentors to at risk children from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The mentors "friends" grateful for our services helped families complete paperwork for the Tooth Taxi and provided transportation for appointments.
Dr. Nick Mellum and assistant, Kristy Campbell, are new volunteers to the Tooth Taxi. They treated a patient with a chipped front tooth and gave him a new smile for back to school.
Aimee Shaykin and Stephanie Longtin visited from the Providence Child Center. Aimee and Stephanie are involved in the new Providence Specialty Pediatric Dental Clinic. It was a great exchange sharing information on our two programs and they left us with resources to give families that have special health care needs.
Tooth Taxi fans Dr. Kurt Ferre and Annette Rotrock from Creston Clinic came by to say hello.
From the kid gallery:
Have you been to the dentist before? "It was kinda tough; I had to walk all the way from my house to downtown."
From an 8 yr old: "Nothing better than seeing a bloody tooth unless you're a dentist or a dentist helper or a vampire or a werewolf."
55% of students screened needed treatment
45% needed no treatment.
Portland, Friends of the Children Aug 13-17, 2012
20 students screened
0 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
24 appointments in the van
$11,145 value of free dental services provided.
Tooth Taxi, September 4, 2008 – August 17, 2012
12.094 students screened
11,868 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
5,407 students treated in the van
$3,240,437 value of free dental services provided.