Estrella del Mar resident and retired dental hygienist Clair Silk has passed a milestone. Her original idea of trying to improve the dental health of the children of Barron has succeeded beyond her wildest expectations and she has managed to pass the responsibility of the program to local authorities.
Claire, along with EDM resident Janice Schoen, spend the morning of February 22, 2017 at the Barron kindergarten treating 65 four-, five- and six-year olds with fluoride. This program was initiated three years ago as a supplement to the full dental treatments administered to the entire primary school, a program that began in 2013. Over the course of the program, significant gains have been made in the dental health of the children of Barron.
As you can see from the chart, the dental clinics have happened every year since 2013. We have treated over 14,000 teeth and every year, fewer and fewer of those teeth are decayed. Most significant is the improvement shown by the Class of 2017. These young people have demonstrated meteoric improvement in their dental health, beginning with a mere 12% of students with cavity-free smiles and ending with a whopping 82% of cavity-free smiles last year. We expect additional improvements in this, their last year of treatment.
The more exciting news is that the town of Barron has also committed to building a medical facility that will eventually supplant our efforts. We fully expect that the medical outreach staff that is in place in Barron now will have suitable housing for future medical clinics and will eventually take over the dental program as well.
Thanks go out to all the EDM residents (Jan & Bill Schoen and Willie Portman) who have helped every year. Pictured below are the students-in-training who assisted Claire and Jan in the fluoride application. It’s interesting to note that two of the four trainees are former Friends of Barron Scholarship students.