The three-year-old sat quietly on her mother’s knee as the dentist prepared for the shock she guessed awaited her. Examining the tiny girl’s mouth, the dentist tried to smile but you could tell that she had seen it all before and was weary at the sight.
Mum smiled as the child opened wide to show two rows of small pieces of ragged black and brown stumps that must have started out as tiny pearly white teeth.
The gums above the top teeth were swollen and very red.
‘Abscesses’, commented the woman dentist with a worried frown.
Three years old!
This tiny child had possessed some of those teeth for only a year.
How could they have been in such appalling condition?
Mum’s comment was ‘she’s probably eaten too many of her older sisters’ treats’.
What were these ‘treats’?
And in what condition were the older children’s teeth?
Had this dentist also had to deal with those?
This poor little child was soon taken in for dental surgery, anaesthetised and relieved of nearly all of her 20 teeth.
Blood and pain greeted her when she awoke from the effects of the anaesthetic.
But, eventually that pain would go - as would the pain from the rotten teeth and their accompanying abscesses.
Poor little precious child!
I saw this on a documentary about sugar on tv a week or so ago and was shocked beyond belief.
The condition of this small child’s teeth is apparently not an uncommon sight at the dental hospital.
How does this happen?
Is a sugar tax going to eliminate the problem?
I think not.
The imposition of a sugar tax will make precious little difference to the result of such ignorance and mistreatment.
The only remedy is prevention at a basic level. But how to do this? How can we educate to help?
Prevention is the way to go to alleviate suffering in so many ways!
Take for instance, the horrendous earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia on 28th September, with destruction on a massive scale and the tragic death of (so far) over 2000, with 5000 still missing, presumed dead. THOUSANDS of lives lost!
It is hard to imagine such a tragedy.
An added - and truly awful - fact is that there was no warning for the population and therefore no way for people to at least try to avoid the catastrophe as, even though a warning mechanism had been installed, it had not worked for several years as the country was too poor to ensure its upkeep.
Oh, how prevention would have been the preferable situation.
The many countries now sending millions of dollars of aid to the stricken Indonesians, could surely have served everyone better by contributing to the maintenance of the tsunami and earthquake warning system.
Prevention is better? Surely!
And here’s a biggie:
Come on….. What?
The Australian PM has just announced the importance of coal production for our future energy needs. Coal!
This is an example of moronic thinking!
We cannot prevent climate change – it’s already happening at an amazing rate of knots – but we can help to slow it down a little by not promoting coal!
For heaven’s sake! Could someone please stop this madness?
‘Prevention is better than cure’ is the old adage.
*We cannot cure the poor little child’s teeth. But we can try to prevent such atrocious conditions from developing in others. But I think we’ll need much more than a sugar tax!
*We cannot ‘cure’ the lives lost in the earthquake and tsunami. Nor can we prevent loss of infrastructure, but we can surely provide warning systems to save lives of those in vulnerable areas.
*We cannot ‘cure’ Climate Change.
But it is one thing that we can slow down at least.
STOP MINING COAL!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.