Some say that the smile is a window to the soul… tells us something about a person’s mood, personality, state of mind, maybe even status in life. Smiles know no language barriers, no differences in race, gender, social status or class. In light of this, this week is being observed as Dental health Week which seeks to promote proper dental hygiene and practices to best care for our teeth. Our news team sat down with Dental Surgeon at the Northern Regional Hospital, Dr. Francisco Casteneda who explains how a healthy smile can make you feel good inside and out. Maria Novelo reports.


smileMaria Novelo – Reporting

A smile is truly a universal peaceful magnetic force among humans and so having a healthy one is symbolic of good oral health and dental hygiene. This week’s activities, according to Dental Surgeon Dr. Francisco Casteneda, are centered on education in classrooms.

Dr. Francisco Casteneda – Dental Surgeon, NRH

“We have to get to the schools to give them talks and basically dental education then, and teach them some brushing drills and what are the various diseases that can affect them and how to treat them and what to do.”

From extractions to gum treatment, on a daily basis, Dr. Casteneda and his assistant tend to an average of 25 persons from all corners of the north.

Dr. Francisco Casteneda – Dental Surgeon, NRH

“A day about 25 to 30 persons per day and it can vary from very young and we had to stich up his little gum.”

Casteneda says some of the most common ails in dental health is oral hygiene, or lack thereof in youths and so this week’s activities will include parent participation.

Dr. Francisco Casteneda – Dental Surgeon, NRH

“We invite parents sometimes like when we visits schools to come so that we can teach them how to properly see that their kids are doing the proper job.”

Foods that contribute to rapidly deteriorated teeth include some of our favourite snacks and drinks.

Dr. Francisco Casteneda – Dental Surgeon, NRH

“We have had problems with children chewing on the lemons and they leave it on their mouth to hide or like that and so it breaks down the enamel and that is a dangerous problem that we have had when it comes to teeth decay. One glass of soda water can have up to 13 teaspoons of sugar and that is very dangerous when it comes to tooth decaying.”


Like many of us we wait until the pain is unbearable for us to visit our dentist.

Dr. Francisco Casteneda – Dental Surgeon, NRH

“If there is any particular problem that they have to come to the Northern Regional Hospital we will deal with that problem or at least direct them to where they can be observed. At schools we encourage even the parents to visit the dentist at least three times for the year so that those thing scan be targeted before it start to bother people right.”


This year’s Dental Health Week is being observed under the theme “Belizeans, Big-up your smile it reflects your style.”

With that much at stake, it’s worthwhile to discover what your smile is saying about you — and how to interpret the smiles flashed your way. Like the doctor says brush regularly and floss frequently to maintain healthy teeth and gums. The Dental Clinic is open from Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 12pm and from 1pm to 3pm.

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