Home Missions Medicine Medicine News Free dental clinic brings healthier smiles to youth

Free dental clinic brings healthier smiles to youth

Saturday, 09 December 2017 11:11 AM | ARTICLE BY | Juvy Ann Radaza
Raymart Mascariñas (in dental chair) wears his best smile after TIMA dentist Dr. Raymond Lim (left) finishes his filling on his upper teeth. They're accompanied by Dr. Lim's wife and fellow TIMA dentist Dr. May Figuraccion Lim (background). 【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi Foundation’s 1st dental mission in Cecilio Putong National High School, Tagbilaran City, Bohol from December 9-10. Catering 402 students who suffered tooth problems were able to avail services of tooth extraction, restoration and cleaning.
  • On December 9 and 10, Tzu Chi Foundation’s free dental clinic aided the dental problems of the Boholoano youth. The clinic brought joy to the students of Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School for the opportunity to visit a dentist.

Many Filipinos suffer from dental problems. The pain is too much to handle for many youths.

Tzu Chi Foundation understands the suffering of indigents, especially children. In light of this, Tzu Chi volunteers, together with Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) dentists and local volunteers, hosted a two-day dental mission to provide relief to the Boholano Youth.

One is 15-year-old Raymart Mascariñas, a Grade-10 student of Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS). A sensitive tooth on his right has caused him unease at school since elementary. The pain was too much for him to bear during class, sometimes forcing him to skip school.

He lives with his parents and a brother in a simple house where the dining room also serves a bedroom. His father works at a lottery stall where he earns 10 percent from the bets, while his mother is a housewife. Sending him to a dentist to have his tooth checked was difficult.

“My father is the one who works for a living to support our daily necessities. After work, he also does household chores, since my mother is always out with her friends.” Raymart stated. “My father’s income can’t even support our needs.”

He visited the barangay clinic once, but it couldn’t give him the proper aid due to lack of equipment. Imagine his delight upon learning about Tzu Chi’s dental mission.

“Upon knowing the dental mission, I grabbed the opportunity without hesitation. This is an opportunity for me to gain my confidence talking with other people,” He stated.

Filling his teeth is quite painful, but to endure minutes of pain is worth years of his normal life. After almost 20 minutes of composite filling on his upper teeth, Raymart was happy.

Most children are fond of eating sweets. Lack of care and money for oral hygiene results in tooth problems.

In the case of Avegail Pasilbas, having her teeth removed is necessary to be able to focus on her studies.

Fifth among eleven children, Avegail is determined to finish his education. His father works as a farmer while her mother is a housewife. Keeping such a big family afloat is no easy feat, much less their dental needs.

Upon entering high school, she started to feel pain on her teeth, causing her discomfort during classes. The pain also gives her a hard time sleeping at night and going to school.

“I really want to focus in school since I want to graduate with good grades. But due to my tooth decay I make absences and can’t even focus on my work,“ Avegail shared.

Avegail works as a house helper to support her studies and lessen the burden of his father, but due to heavy work her dental problem has grown worse. This year, her brother got hired as a security guard, so she decided to stop working.

Tzu Chi’s dental mission took out Avegail’s aching left tooth. Despite the nervous feeling, she opted to undergo extraction.

“This is a big help to me because I really don’t have any amount to pay for the dental fee. There is no amount can pay for your kindness to people, especially to the students,” she stated.

Last Updated: Saturday, 09 December 2017 11:11 AM

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