Thursday, August 13, 2009


 The conversation with Charles my walk-in patient yesterday morning began like this.  "Doctor, I need to tell you something.  I usually don't tell many people this, but I've only brushed my teeth 6 times in my life. But I think I'm kind of fortunate.  A doctor once told me I have the right kind of spittle to keep my teeth clean."
Upon oral exam his dentition fairly reflected his "infrequent" oral hygiene habits showing many missing/decayed teeth and desperately in need of having his teeth cleaned.  We first discussed perhaps trying to brush the teeth at least once a month if not once a week. He seemed agreeable to this idea.
Before casting judgement, I got to know Charles.  He is a 50 year old humanitarian from the United States.  He has lived in Kenya many years and works with getting wheelchairs transported from the United States to Kenyans in need.   He is been successful in obtaining several containers full of medical supplies and finding funds to have them shipped to Kenya, including two dental chairs.  
He plans to convert these 20 foot by 10 foot metal containers into a makeshift medical and dental clinic.  Maybe we will together on a project some day. I was surprised indeed by the endeavors of this man.

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