The last few weeks of my trip were tiring and hard, but worth the effort for the work we were doing. For the last two weeks of the trip, we worked in schools with children in kindergarten to grade six mostly. These children have never had the opportunity to have their teeth cleaned. While we did not have the time or resources to clean each and every single child’s teeth, we were able to apply fluoride to help make their teeth stronger and decrease the chances of further decay from occurring. We also provided them with information on how to properly brush their teeth.
It is hard to prepare yourself for a different culture because you never really know what you are going to get. Before travelling to the Philippines, I did research, but it did not come close to preparing me for the culture shock I was about to experience.
When I entered the Dental Hygiene Program in September 2014, I had no intentions on travelling abroad to put my skills to test. When the option arose to travel to the Philippines for a dental humanitarian trip, I thought it would be an amazing experience. Not only would I get to use and advance my clinical skills, but I would have an opportunity to experience a completely different culture. Upon researching the Philippines, I learned that one third of the population lives in poverty without many dental necessities, "such a restorations" and other needed dental resources.