News / Health

    Mobile Clinic Brings Dental Care to Under-served Children

    Mobile Clinic Delivers Dental Care to Under-served Childreni
    X
    Faiza Elmasry
    June 27, 2014 3:50 PM
    When poor families have to choose between paying to visit the dentist or paying for food, they are more likely to choose the latter. This hard choice leaves many poor children prone to dental problems, which can eventually affect their overall health. In the Washington D.C. a mobile dental clinic visits under-served neighborhoods to provide children with regardless of their family's ability to pay. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Faiza Elmasry

    When poor families have to choose between paying to visit the dentist or paying for food, they often choose the latter.  

    This hard choice leaves many poor children prone to dental problems, which can eventually affect their overall health.

    In the Washington D.C. area, a mobile dental clinic visits under-served neighborhoods to provide children with dental care services, regardless of their family's ability to pay.  
     
    The van, with two dental chairs and a team of oral health providers, stops at 30 locations in the Washington area each month.

    While most kids do not think going to the dentist is fun, registered dental hygienist Holly Graham tries her best to make the visit as pleasant as possible.
     
    “We start very slow with them so we can get them on board so they get to know us," Graham said. "When they come back, they are typically more friendly. They are ready to go. They open without being asked.”

    Graham leads the clinic's oral health team.
     
    “It is a different program," she said. "We go out to the community. We give back to the community.”

    That not only makes medical care more affordable, but also more accessible.
     
    “Transportation is a huge barrier to access to care," said Dr. Marcee White, director of Mobile Programs for Children’s National Health System. "Our moving units go out in the community. We go to where the kids are. Typically that is in their communities, at their homes, in their schools. So we take those units so that families do not have to worry about taking three, four, buses to get to us. In addition to the dental services we offer, we also offer medical services. We offer psychiatric services, and social services for our families.”
     
    Mobile medical care is available for underserved communities in inner city neighborhoods and rural areas across the United States. Washington’s program has been in operation for more than two decades. The dental van was introduced about 10 years ago.
     
    “Over the years, our program has grown tremendously," White said. "In 2013, we had about 1,600 patient visits. We have actually implemented electronic dental records as part of our mobile dental units, which is so important when you have a mobile unit out there in the community to be able to access your patients' records at any time.”
     
    White hopes the program can afford to get newer units in the near future.

    “We actually have a unit that is 12 years old and it has a 10-year life span, so it is feeling every bit of it," she said. "It only has a two chair operatory. Some of the newer units actually have a three chair operatory. So I think a new unit would actually allow our team to grow, allow us to serve more schools, allow us to go to more communities.”

    Natalia Hichez, a mother of three, heard about the mobile clinic from a friend a couple of years ago.  She has become a regular client.  
     
    “I come maybe twice a year for every child," Hichez said. "Their waiting time is zero; I do not have to wait. If I have an appointment at 12, the doctor will see my kids by 12:05 at most. I usually get information from the doctor. Any question that I have, they will be answering.”
     
    “The parents are the teachers to their children when we are not around," said Graham, the dental hygienist who leads the clinic's oral health program. "So it is very important to educate them on oral health as well, telling them to help assist with the brushing and the products they should be using at home.”

    That is the philosophy behind this service: teach healthy oral habits early in life to prevent a lifetime of dental problems.  

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Reader from: China mainland
    June 28, 2014 10:08 PM
    Thank U VOA for all the informations and access provided here, giving people a window to know the world and knowledge as well. Thanks also for the English Learning materials on your website, very good and helpful! Thanks for what you are doing and persistent efforts!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.