Last night we had a discussion about teeth. Since we are at the one year mark, we are able to go on our dental check. Some people who have gone on their dental check ups have always had perfect teeth, however now the Samoa factor comes into play.
Things about us keep changing since we have entered Samoa. Things that have always been, always turn around, and it goes the opposite way. It is just the way of Samoa.
One of the girls in my group had the Samoan factor happen to her mouth. All of a sudden she went from a cavity-less mouth to having 8 cavities. This is a girl that not only attends the flossing parties that I have been at, but also flosses regularly.
We were trying to figure out the cause of this, and came up to one solution. Our mouth had become used to all of the chemicals that the US puts in their water, especially the fluoride.
Here we drink boiled water, filtered water, or tank water, which is rain water. There are no real chemicals, besides the bleach we put in our water filters. Our mouth hasn’t found a way to be used to this factor, so many of us end up with cavities. A scary thought.
It still is better than the Samoan mouth. Samoans rarely see dentists, and if they do it is only to have teeth pulled. So instead of fixing the tooth, the often will just take the tooth out of their mouths. There are many teenagers missing their molars because of this.
The Samoans that I have talked with think the only time to go to a dentist is when your mouth is in pain, which means a tooth needs to be pulled.
I really wish there was access to better dental care as well as education on teeth here in Samoa for Samoans.