As we arrived in the small fishing village of San Pancho, we were embraced with warm welcomes. The one thing that struck me the most about this town was how friendly the local people are. Culturally, the people of San Pancho have very strong roots in tradition and value close family ties. Despite the strong sense of family, there appears to be a disconnect between the association of lifestyle factors and oral disease. On our first visit to one of the primary schools we performed screenings and provided education and fluoride varnish. Early childhood decay was quite evident! However, the over all number of tooth caries has declined since the first year that the Camosun field study first began! (according to our interpreter and Ada). It was neat to see how much of an impact early education and prevention has on this community. During our presentation it was revealed that the majority of the children did not have toothbrushes. Being able to provide toothbrushes and teach them how to use them felt very rewarding. The children were very receptive of our presence and their openess to our treatment was inspiring.
After the morning session the mothers of the children held a musical presentation for their children. I had the chance to talk with one of the mothers of one of the children with the help of an interpreter and it was evident that the parent was genuinely concerned with the health of the child's teeth! I felt this experience to be very rewarding and the positive impact will have a lasting effect to the families involved!