Dental Hygiene students return to Belize again

Stephanie Reidel, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Madison College’s Dental Hygienist program students return to Belize for spring break this year to help less fortunate people receive dental care.

The team will consist of seven second-year students, two instructors: Heidi Petersen and Susan Kloosterboer, and dentist Dr. Adina Ness. They will spend two days at Holy Cross School in San Mateo and two days at San Pedro High School.

The South American country is impoverished and getting access to healthcare is a challenge, especially dental care.
“Almost all of the children who will visit the clinic will have untreated cavities and gum infections,” explained Klooseterboer, who went on to say, “The dental hygiene students will provide dental cleanings, dental sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent cavities. The dentist will do restorative work (fillings).”

The trip is more than just about sealants and fluoride treatments.

“We take the students to allow them to expand their view of the world and the (sic) show them how sharing the skills they have developed can help improve and save lives,” Floosterboer said.

More so, it is an exercise in humility, through practice.

“They learn how very fortunate they are to live as they do; how much good they can do in the world with their skills and how much need there is. It is a very humbling experience,” explains Kloosterboer, who will be spending her third spring break in Belize.

When asked what was her most memorable experience in Belize, Kloosterboer said, “a little girl who was in pain from a toothache saw us a couple of days after she received treatment and remembered that we were the group who had helped her. She was no longer in pain and her smile was worth a thousand words.”
The Dental Hygiene program is currently raising funds to help defray the costs of the trip, buy supplies that haven’t already been donated and pay for food.

“We are selling both powered Oral-B toothbrushes, manual Oral-B toothbrushes, whitening toothpaste, whitening kits with pre-loaded trays, Yankee Candles and Racine Kringles. We will also do gift wrapping at East Towne Mall just before the holidays.”

If you’re interested, you can send an email to [email protected] for more information. They can meet you at the Heath Education building on Truax campus, or in the main building. Watch for additional fund-raisers as well.