Donald Berman Oral Health Education Program
Dental Volunteers for Israel provide oral health education to thousands of children and youth from age 0 to 20 through DVI’s Donald Berman Oral Health Education Program.
We see the results every day, in the smallest details – the children who brush better, because they can see themselves in the mirror to better follow the hygienists’ instructions, the parents who are quickly drawn in to the brushing and flossing process as they watch their children from behind, the hygienist who can now say: “you need to use THIS particular floss/mouthwash/other product” and show the child what she means and how to use it, so there is no way he can misunderstand. Product donations from a few dental companies have enabled us to now distribute toothpaste and floss as well as toothbrushes.
The new, flat-screen television and DVD player in the Preventative Oral Health Care Unit’s waiting room with several updated videos and books helps keep the children occupied and reinforces the importance of oral health in a fun, non-threatening way.
On an average week, over 70 children pass through the Preventative Oral Health Care Unit, leaving it with a new toothbrush and toothpaste, and a new understanding of their mouths and what they can do to protect it. Oral health education has unmatched potential to keep these children under the poverty line in school, and able to focus – as well as significantly reduce their suffering from extreme decay.
Thus oral health education has the unique potential to reduce the cycle of poverty. This classroom is so much more than just a “room” – it is a potent tool in preventative care, saving thousands of children each year from unnecessary dental pain!
DVI also reaches out to institutions with an Oral Health Outreach Program