First graders at two local elementary schools were recently given free “Prevent Tooth Decay” kits through the Fantastic Teeth Fan Club by members of Constantine Masonic Lodge #13 in Bonham led by J.R. Stephens, Carl Englutt, and Joe Walker. The Masons assembled and delivered more than 165 dental hygiene kits to the first graders at Dodd City Elementary as well as Finley-Oates Elementary in Bonham. The Fantastic Teeth Fan Club is sponsored by the Masonic Home & School of Texas (MHS) which strives to prevent suffering from toothaches, reduce missed school days due to dental problems, and cut costs for dental treatment.
The “Prevent Tooth Decay” kits each contain a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, a healthy teeth sticker, a two minute timer (optimal brushing time), “Tips for Healthy Teeth” educational information for parents in both English and Spanish, and a summary of MHS services. Last year, Texas Masonic lodges partnered with MHS to distribute more than 125,000 Fantastic Teeth Fan Club dental kits and information to first graders in almost 1,500 schools across the state.
According to “Oral Health in America”: A Report of the Surgeon General, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease–five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Poor children are affected by this epidemic more frequently than other children, with nearly 12 times more restricted activity days due to dental issues than children from higher income families. With more than 1.5 million Texas children living in poverty, there is a great need for preventive dental care.
Dental problems also directly affect success for children, with more than 51 million school hours lost each year to dental-related illness. Teachers have judged both classroom performance and classroom behavior to be significantly poorer among children in need of dental care. Pain and suffering due to untreated dental disease can also lead to problems in eating and speaking.
The Masonic Home and School of Texas is a non-profit organization with a history of helping children across Texas for more than 100 years. Contact MHS by calling toll free 1-877-203-9111; or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by visiting the website, www.mhstx.org.