February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District develops strategies to meet the dental needs for underserved and at-risk dental patients in our city. The organization also monitors access to care barriers so that we can learn how to better serve these patients.
For January and February, the Metro Health Dental Program conducted a program for the Southwest ISD elementary schools, one of the most underserved areas of our city. Dental examinations, fluoride varnish, and dental sealant application were provided to students at the school.
This morning, I served as a volunteer with the program, performing screenings on children from first grade to fourth grade, documenting and diagnosing dental needs. We also applied fluoride varnish and hygienists with the program applied dental sealants to children that needed them. I enjoy working with children so much, it is easily my favorite thing to do in dentistry. I want to thank Dr. Jennifer Bankler, Clinical Director of the Dental Health Program for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. There are so many children in San Antonio living below the poverty level with dental needs that are not being met, and it’s programs like this that can help us to one day eliminate this problem.
I had a lot of fun at Medio Creek Elementary, it’s a really beautiful building. I hadn’t been inside of an elementary school in a few years; it was funny to see all of the children walking down the hallway with their hands behind their backs! The room we were using as the screening clinic was the Music room. There were a lot of drums in there and percussion toys and I felt compelled to play with them all. I asked the children what are some songs they sing. One child told me “Rocky Moutain”. After I figured she wasn’t talking about “Rocky Mountain High” or “Rocky Top”, I realized I had no idea what she was talking about! Apparently it’s a song elementary school children sing. Maybe I’ll hear it one day, no one wanted to sing it for me!
Medio Creek’s mascot is the Gator. Being a Georgia Bulldog, you might imagine I had a bit of a problem with this, but I quickly got over it. Having gone to dental school with a lot of University of Florida grads, I know a thing or two about Gators. Can you believe I even taught some children the Gator Chomp? How’s that for a good sport?