In a natural disaster, a lot of things go by the wayside. In a cataclysmic natural disaster–like the hurricane that wreaked havoc on the US territory of Puerto Rico–the basic amenities we all take for granted are suddenly out of reach.
While dentistry may not be the first thing that people think of when disaster strikes, after the aftershocks fade away, it’s one of the last–and most important–things to be restored. Both the American Health Association and the American Dental Association agree that dental health is integral in maintaining our health and well-being.
The AHA and ADA both agree: dental health is essential for America’s well-being
Which is why, as a dentist under the American Dental Association, Dr. Matthews is proud to share that the American Dental Association and the ADA Foundation are teaming up with local Puerto Rican dentists to restore the dental health that every American citizen deserves.
After the Hurricane Maria in September, one of the most difficult steps in recovery is the simple issue of identifying what needs to be done. In order to take stock of the situation, the ADA and the ADA Foundation are teaming up with the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and El Colegio de Dentistas de Puerto Rico, looking for ways that the mainland dentists can help their colleagues who may be lacking necessary supplies or infrastructure.
Some of the supplies that the dentists of Puerto Rico need may seem surprisingly simple. According to the ADA’s website, many resources that we think of as commonplace are in short supply, including tongue-depressors and ibuprofen. Not only are many of the dentists in communities surrounding the capital of San Juan without commodities like antibiotics and rubber gloves, but the hurricane also knocked out access to basic utilities like power and water. To that end, included on the list are things like head-lamps and solar-powered light-bulbs. If you’d like to see the full list, visit ADA.org!
To see the full list of requested supplies, visit the ADA website here
Dr. Matthews is proud to be a part of the American Dental Association. As an organization that cares for the dental health of all Americans–mainland or not–the ADA is in a unique position to do some real good, right now, for people in need. After all, though it may not seem as pressing as ruined infrastructure or basic medical care, dental health is an essential part of having a happy, healthy life!
If you’re in or around Austin, dentist visits are only a phone call away. In Puerto Rico, dentists are working back towards giving the excellent dental care that the Colegio de Dentistas de Puerto Rico is known for. If you’d like to help, make sure to check out the ADA’s website, and donate what you can to help get the dentists of Puerto Rico back in business!