The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

December 27, 2012

Elkhart Masons donate tooth decay kits to first graders

Staff Reports
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — All first graders at Elkhart Elementary and Slocum Elementary in Elkhart recently received free prevent tooth decay kits through the Fantastic Teeth Fan Club.

The effort, organized by Elkhart Masonic Lodge member Cole Hudson involved the assembly and delivery of 110 kits to the schools by local Masons.

The Fantastic Teeth Fan Club, sponsored by Masonic Home and School of Texas, works to prevent suffering from toothaches, reduce missed school days due to dental problems and cut costs for dental treatment.

Prevent tooth decay kits contain: a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, healthy teeth sticker, two-minute timer (optimal brushing time), Tips for Healthy Teeth educational info for parents in both Spanish and English and a summary of MHS services.

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.

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; sending an email to info@mhstx.org; or by visiting the website, www.mhstx.org.