For the past two months dentist in training Edith joined local Dreamers and set up her own oral hygiene project. In an improvised treatment room in our English classroom, and with her own materials, Edith carried out dental controls for the children of our projects in the south of Quito. Now that the project is coming to an end, she tells us about her experiences.
By María Edith
Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is María Edith, I am a senior student at the UDLA dental University in Quito.
What does your project entail?
What the project entails mostly is prevention. We no longer want dentistry like it was before: having to remove teeth, seeing decay. Instead we need prevention: teaching children how to properly take care of their teeth. That also means that children have to go to a dentist every six months.
How many children did you attend until now?
Up to now, they are about 40 children.
Why did you want to start this project?
I’m about to finish college. For my final year I have to go ‘rural’ for one year, which means I have to work voluntarily outside of the city. That means I will be involved with a lot of different people. This project for me was a nice way of starting to get used to working with different people, even though it still was inside of Quito. But it was a perfect start for me. Besides that, I love working with children, because each child is a world apart, they are all so different!
How important is dental care for those children south of Quito?
First of all, I do not think there is any difference in people from the north or the people from the south. It really depends on the parents. If a child from a young age is told how to take care of their teeth, in the future they will not have cavities or dental complaints. Most children I treated here had very good teeth. Only a few needed follow up treatments, which I am giving them as well. They will come to the clinic in the next few weeks.
A personal question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do?
In 5 years? Well, I am passionate about what pediatric dentistry is for children. I am interested facial and jaw surgery, so I will try to do my post graduation in that field. Furthermore, in five years I think I will work in a public hospital, because I want to work in and with the community.
Is there anything more you want to share?
I would like to thank the foundation for opening their doors to my project. Thank you very much for the support so far and for giving me the physical space to do the treatments. The children I treated are very nice and thankful as well! I hope the foundation can continue their projects for a long time, and that we can keep working together!
© Local Dreamers, dental project