Malcolm Anderson of Beeville Lodge and Charles Hemphill, a member of George West Lodge, organized the effort. Lodge members assembled and delivered a total of 140 kits to the schools. 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 also can lead to problems in eating and speaking.
Masonic Home and School of Texas (MHS) is a nonprofit organization with a history of helping children across Texas for more than 100 years.