Inside – Outside - Start from the Top of the Teeth
Nilab and Lynn, a dental hygienist and a dentist from the Netherlands, talk about their recent trip to NPH Bolivia.
May 7, 2018 - Bolivia
“Sometimes is really hard to treat the kids as a dentist, even in the Netherlands. They do not know what to expect, so they are scared. But when you see them the following day and they are still waving happily at you, you know that you did a good job” tells Lyn, a dentist from the Netherlands. She spent the last two weeks at NPH Bolivia together with her colleague, Nilab.
It was quite a busy few weeks for Lyn and Nilab. They completed 118 dental check-ups and cleanings, 39 fillings, ten extractions and three sealants. But the most important thing for them was the educational efforts towards prevention. Nilab explains, ”We explained to every single child, how to properly brush their teeth – outside, inside – start from the top of teeth. This was our main focus.” Lynn adds, ”Our goals was to repeat and repeat and repeat it, so that they will still remember when we are not here anymore.”
Therefore, after work, they went to the homes of the children and to work with both the children and caregivers on reminders about proper brushing techniques. They hung up posters, and at the end every child got his tooth-brushing certificate.
Volunteering in a medical brigade was on Nilab´s and Lynn´s bucket list for a long time. As soon as they knew that they would go to Bolivia, it took them 3-4 months to prepare. They had Spanish classes and a lot of fundraising through family, friends and their work. “We bought and collected dental materials and brought two full suitcases. It helped a lot, as we were ready to start from the first day.”
Both of them were pleased with the preparation and organization, and are thankful for the support of the NPH Bolivia and Dutch families. Nilab explains, “For me it was the perfect first volunteering experience. This is how it should be, especially if it´s your first time.” Lynn sums up, ”For me NPH Bolivia is a special place, maybe I will come back, but when my Spanish is better …”