Letter of My Concerns



Dear Governor Ige,

I am writing to you to bring up the issue about Hawaii’s poor oral care among our children.  Over the past years, Hawai’i has become the state that has the highest prevalence of tooth decay among our children, especially within the low-income families.  “Household income is an important factor affecting child vulnerability, with low income associated with both poor oral and systemic health” (Mattheus 2120).  The income of families play a big role in the family’s health outcomes.  “Oral health disparities based on race/ethnicity with Micronesian and Other Pacific Islanders (Guam, Samoa, Tonga and Other Pacific Islands) having the highest prevalence of untreated decay.  About 56% of Micronesian and 41% of Other Pacific Islander children have untreated decay – four times higher than the prevalence among White (13%) and Japanese (11%) children” (Hawai’i Smiles 2).  Income isn’t the only factor that affects tooth decay, it is also the multicultural races/ethnicities here in Hawai’i.  Therefore, Hawai’i should better the knowledge about oral care by creating community based programs, screening and referral services, and restoring the importance of dental care in Hawai’i because majority are low-income families who qualify for some type of

assistance from the state, many see it as an “extra” fee when it shouldn’t be, and Hawaii’s residents do not have fluoridated water systems like other states.

First of all, the major problem of poor oral care starts with the low-income families.  According to Hawai’i News Now, Hawai’i has the highest prevalence of tooth decay among third graders in the nation.  The article explains that, “In Hawai’i, low-income, Micronesian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander kids have poorer oral health outcomes” (HNN Staff, par. 7).  In other words, Hawaii’s low-income families and certain ethnic groups like Micronesians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders have a higher rate of poorer oral care compared to high-income families.  That is because they can barely afford the minimum like food and clothes to survive in Hawai’i.  As a result, low-income families are more prone to dental problems but by having more education about oral care, it will help these families on how to better care for their teeth.  

In addition, many low-income families see dental care as an “extra” service to have.  According to Hawai’i Oral Health: Key Findings, our mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body, providing clues about overall health.  However, the article explains that “Oral health care is too often viewed as an ‘extra’ service, and people and insurance coverage typically focus on other health care issues or problems first” (Family Health Services 1).  Generally, most health insurance emphasize health check ups rather than dental check ups for families.  Which, creates an image of dental care as an extra cost that many low-income families tend to put aside since they cannot afford it.  Therefore,

Hawai’i should educate families about better oral care because many of the low-income families qualify/ have health insurance that covers dental check ups and will lower the rates of tooth decay.

Lastly, majority of the residents in Hawai’i do not have fluoride in their water.  According to Hawai’i Smiles 2015, there aren’t as many fluoridated community water systems in Hawai’i compared to other states.  In the book, “11% of Hawaii’s residents are served by a fluoridated community water system” (Hawai’i Smiles 3), which means majority of our residents don’t get fluoride in their water compared to mainlanders, and we need to find a way to intake fluoride.  By intaking fluoride, it will strengthen your teeth and reduce the likeliness to get tooth decay.  Though, because Hawai’i doesn’t have fluoridated water, our tooth decay rates are higher than other states because only 11% have fluoride in their water.  This means that 89% of Hawaii’s residents have to seek an alternative way to get fluoride.  Since 89% of Hawaii’s residents do not have fluoridated water, it is important that they go to the dentist to receive prescription or over the counter fluoride drops, rinse, gels, etc. because these are an additional preventative measure that will help prevent tooth decay.

However, some may argue that fluoride doesn’t reduce tooth decay, instead it causes an entire laundry list of human illnesses including AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Down Syndrome, etc. (Fluoridation Facts 50).  But over the past 70 years and dozens of studies has consistently shown that fluoridation reduces tooth decay.  According to Fluoride Myths and Facts, there has been an analysis of two similar

communities in Arkansas that showed, residents without access to fluoridated water had twice as many cavities as those with access to fluoridated water.  Also, fluoride is not only meant for children but adults can benefit from fluoride, too.  In 2007 a review of studies found that fluoride prevents caries tooth decay among adults of all ages and that fluoridated water prevents decay by as much as 27%.

Eventually, Hawai’i is going to need to find solutions to prevent tooth decay, so educating Hawaii’s residents about proper oral care could reduce the high rate of tooth decay among children.  Whether if it is, creating community based programs, screening and referral services, and restoring the importance of dental care in Hawai’i because majority who do not seek proper dental care are low-income families who qualify for some type of assistance from the state.  Yet, many of them see it as an “extra” fee when it shouldn’t be, and because Hawaii’s residents do not have fluoridated water systems like other states so we need to find alternative ways to protect our teeth from decaying.


Cyndie Rayoan



Family Health Services Division. Hawai’i Oral Health: Key findings. 2015.

Family Health Services Division. Hawai’i Smiles 2015. 2015.

HNN Staff. “Hawai’i Has Highest Prevalence of Tooth Decay Among Kids.” Hawai’i News Now, 30 Sept. 2016, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/33292339/ report-7-in-10-hawaii-kids-have-experienced-tooth-decay. 20 Oct. 2016.

“Fluoridation Facts.” American Dental Association, 2005, www.ada.org/~/media/ada/

member center/files/fluoridation_facts.ashx.

“Fluoride Myths & Facts ৷ Campaign for Dental Health.” American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016, http://ilikemyteeth.org/fluoridation/fluoride-myths-facts/4/

Mattheus, Deborah J. “Vulnerability Related to Oral Health in Early Childhood:  A Concept Analysis.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 66.9 (2010): 2116-2125. Health                                         Source: Nursing/ Academic Edition. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.

The Ride


Nathan Kurosawa’s The Ride: Back to the Soul of Surfing, was about a young proffesional surfer named, David Monroe.  Throughout the beginning of the movie David was presented as a person who is very high makamaka (stuck up), had no respect for anyone else or the ocean, and believed that he knew surfing better than anyone else.  In 2002, David was invited to the XL Pro at Sunset Beach in Hawai’i.  David Monroe, seemed to be the interest that everyone was focusing on throughout the surf competition because of his fame and young talent.  Though, little did anyone know that David would be submerged under the water ending up in the year 1911.  Being found almost half dead in the waters of Waikiki, David was saved by Paoa.  David had a difficult time adjusting to the lifestyle of 1911, but as time went on, David and Paoa became close friends.  However, it took some time for David to realize who Paoa really was.  All this time, David only knew this stranger who saved him to be Paoa, but his name was Duke Kahanamoku, a young Hawaiian beach boy.  Towards the middle of the movie, David goes on about how Duke will be a surfing legend around the world, but at the same time everyone thinks David is crazy because of what he says.  Although Duke’s family, especially his father, believes in the words David is saying.  Duke’s father said that Duke was blessed when he was born, and the sea is embracing him to become something great.  Throughout the movie, Duke and David are becoming closer and giving tips to each other on how to better things.  Though, Blackie, one of Duke’s friends gets mad at David for being with his sister Lehua and they go to the North Shore to challenge.  But that same day that Duke, David, and other friends go out to surf and something tragic happens.  Blackie and David collide and now David is now nowhere to be found in the waters of North Shore, he ends up returning back to the year 2002 and is now a different person.  In conclusion, this film shows that David has changed from being around Duke Kahanamoku.  David receives a surfboard as a gift, learns great words of wisdom, and lastly giving thanks to Duke for making him into a person who now appreciates and knows the true meaning of surfing.

Shortly before the middle part of the movie, David changes from being unappreciative to grateful by receives a special made surfboard that was handcrafted by Duke.  Receiving the surfboard also came with lula (rules) from Duke, which was, “Now this doesn’t mean you know he’enalu.  Be apart of the wave and when the ride takes place here in the na’au, only then will you know what surfing is.”  In other words, Duke told David that just because you have a surfboard now, it doesn’t mean you know what surfing is, and only when you feel the power of riding the wave and not the board in your heart, then you will know what surfing is.  By receiving a surfboard from a legendary surfer, it seemed like David also receives some mana (power) from Duke.  Which helps guide David to learn more about the history of surfing and become a better person.

In the middle of the movie, David finally learns the true meaning of the words of wisdom from Duke which helped David change from having the lack of respect to better understanding the things around him.  Ever since Duke and David started surfing, Duke would always say to David, “Ride the wave, not the board.”  I believe Duke repeats himself throughout the film in hopes of David understanding what “Ride the wave, not the board” meant, since it means to feel and understand the wave and not just be on the board balancing.  After finally realizing the true meaning of, “Ride the wave, not the board” meant, these words of wisdom had helped David understand and have respect for the ocean.  

Towards the ending of the movie, David returns back to the year 2002, he now views his life differently by: using his surfing profession to spread aloha, having respect for others, and respecting the ocean.  David never cared about the true meaning of surfing until now, and since his arrival back to reality, David thanks Duke by announcing, “I’d like to thank Duke Kahanamoku because if it wasn’t for his gift, his nature, and mana, surfing wouldn’t be what it is today, and I think I speak for most of us when I say, if it wasn’t for Duke I wouldn’t be what I am today either.”  Since David’s arrival to the present year, he became a changed person for the better of things.  

Sometimes it takes being stuck in a “dream” to help those in need to change into a better person.  All in all, being able to spend time with the legendary Duke Kahanamoku, David not only got surfing tips, but also was able to change and become a humble person who learned the true meaning and history behind surfing.  

The Ride: Back to the Soul of Surfing. Directed by Nathan Kurosawa, Performances by Scot Davis, Sean Kaaawa, Mary Paalani, Weldon Kehauoha, 2003.

By November 30, 2016.  No Comments on The Ride  Uncategorized   

Pua Mae ‘Ole


I thought today was going to be a good day, doing last minute shopping, and spending time with my mother.  It was July 5, 2014, and the hot summer heat of Las Vegas took it’s toll on everyone.  The smell of body odor, and being drenched in sweat wasn’t too cute for me, or my mom, so we decided that we should stay cool by going to the different indoor malls and drinking a cold, refreshing Orange Dream from Jamba Juice.  We were on a mission to find a photo album and last minute essentials for my daughter.  

After walking through Fashion Show, Meadows Mall, The Boulevard, and Town Square Las Vegas, and not finding a single photo album, we decided to go to Ross because all the shopping centers we went to didn’t have the right photo album I was looking for.  For dinner, we went to the famous In-n-Out fast-food joint, ordering almost everything on the menu.  It was like I was a kid in a candy store, getting everything in sight, and not thinking of how much I could possibly eat.  Later on in the early morning, around 2am the next day, July 6, 2014, I felt some type of pain in my lower abdomen.  Thinking it was just a stomachache from eating all that In-n-Out the day before, I used the restroom thinking it would help.  I thought to myself, It can’t be time yet, I’m only 39 weeks.  It’s kinda too early.  After talking to myself for a while, I tried to go back to sleep, but throughout the night/ early morning, the pain was getting consistent.  I knew it wasn’t just a stomachache.  It was contractions.  The contractions weren’t too bad at the time, but it felt like a mixture of severe period cramps and the urge to push.  I woke my mom up telling her, “We gotta go, NOW!”, but she told me to just wait until it got closer, so the waiting game began.  I waited for a good five hours at home for my mom to take me to the hospital.  It wasn’t the best feeling in the world, either rolled up into a ball, or as straight as a stick to stay comfortable, but the wait was for a good cause.  

Around 7:30 in the morning, with contractions about four to five minutes apart, and walking as the only way to keep me comfortable, my mom decided it’s time for us to go to the hospital.  Luckily, Spring Valley Hospital was right up the road from where we lived.  We checked-in and got into the labour room within the 10 minutes of arriving there.  The hospital was a refrigerator, smelling full of disinfectant.  When in the room, all I could hear was beeping of monitors and my mom telling me, “It will be fine.  Just breathe, and rest if you can.”  There wasn’t much on my mind besides, I’m hungry. when are they going to feed me?  The staff there literally didn’t give me anything besides water and crackers.  I was a raging heifer looking for food, not water.  As hungry as I was, the crackers started tasting like a teri burger, and fries from Zippy’s.  But, they only gave me water and crackers because they want an empty stomach when giving birth, so I had to deal with it.  Besides being hungry, I was still in pain.  On a scale of one to ten, I was at a 20 at this point.  Contraction after contraction I felt so miserable with the feeling of extremely bad cramps and backaches.  Going without any pain medicines or epidural for about seven hours, my contractions felt like a thousand needles and someone punching my abdomen/ uterus.  Trying not to think of the pain, the only thing that kept me calm was hearing the heartbeat of my daughter on the monitor.  Her heartbeat was like music to my ears.  As I lay on the bed waiting to be dilated enough to push, the pain got worst.  I needed some type of medication to ease the pain.  Then, I decided to ask the doctor for pain medication.  He said that it was risky for myself and my daughter if I wanted painkillers, and if I wanted an epidural, I had to act quickly before time was up.  In hope that the pain would stop, I took the epidural, and I have never felt so relaxed in my life.  Within the next 20 minutes or so, after getting the medication, it was time to push.  Those exact words are still embedded in my head. “It’s time!” It was getting real, motherhood was just a few pushes away.  I had butterflies in my stomach, and was breaking out into a cold sweat.  It was about 2:37 in the afternoon, it only took three pushes, and there she was.  All my nerves disappeared, and I was overwhelmed with joy.  I had a safe yet easy delivery and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Allie, who weighed exactly 6.1 pounds and was 19 inches long.  She had the most flawless skin, a head full of hair, and rolls like the Michelin man, she was the cutest baby around.  Being swaddled in her blanket, she looked like the Anguloa uniflora, and had that baby smell that was irresistible.

Since then, I realized I was now a mother.  I have to not only take care of myself, but also another human being.  My daughter has shaped me into a much more responsible and motivated person.  Before she was born, I was more on the rebellious side of life.  Not caring about myself, school, or my future.  She changed my perspective on life.  Coming back to Hawaii to live, I realized that life isn’t always about fun, and games, it’s about being responsible and making better choices in life.  Whether if life is as simple as pie, or hard as rock.  I learned that because of her, she is my motivation that helps me prove a lot of people wrong about being a teen parent.  Getting pregnant at the age of 15 and becoming a mother at 16, it didn’t hurt me, my education, or my future.  As a result of myself graduating high school as a Magna Cum Laude with all honors to attending college, and pursuing my dreams in dentistry.  Till this day, she helps me stay on the right track in life.  Failure isn’t an option with her.  The choices and actions I make is not only for myself, but for her as well.  She will always be my reason to stay positive, and make things right even if it’s going left in life.  That is also why this story is called, “Pua Mae ‘Ole” meaning, “never fading flower”.  Though, her name isn’t Pua Mae ‘Ole, I see her as a representation of a flower that never fades because she will always be there to keep me at my highs even if I’m at my lowest point in life.

By November 28, 2016.  2 Comments on Pua Mae ‘Ole  Uncategorized   

Hawaii has highest prevalence of tooth decay among kids


In Hawaii our keiki has the highest rate of tooth decay among others their age in the nation.  Of those 72% majority are low-income, Micronesian, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders who have poor oral health.  Since majority fall under low-income, an average of 22% of them don’t treat tooth decay.  Though, 7% need the urgent dental care because of pain or risk of infection.

I believe this passes the CRAAP test because it was published this year, September 30, 2016.  This article relates to my topic because it has statistics involving our keikis oral health.  It was also written by news members, who is reliable because they can’t broadcast false information.  So, they found information that relates to the poor oral health care of keikis in Hawaii.

Who Am I Interviewing?


Interviewee: Dr. Hori

About Dr. Hori: Dr. Hori is a male Pediatric Dentist who is located in Waipahu, HI on Depot Rd.  He has been my dentist ever since and he is a great dentist with great staff.  He is really funny and make sure you have a great time when visiting the dentist.  Although, he only comes after your teeth is cleaned and only checks if you have cavities or not.

Questions: *Should Hawaii better the knowledge about hygiene care to prevent the high rate of tooth decay among our keiki?*

  1. What type of education exists for hygiene care?
  2. Who should be taught the knowledge, parents or kids?
  3. Why is it important that families know about good hygiene care?
  4. When should Hawaii start making a change about hygiene care?
  5. Is it the insurance companies job to emphasize FREE dental care?
  6. What is the percentage of tooth decay among Hawaii kids?
  7. What is tooth decay? How can it be prevented?
  8. What type pf knowledge should be taught (covered)?

Mālama your teeth


The topic I have chosen to do my paper on time is dental/ oral care of our keiki in Hawaii.  In order to get credible research, I plan on interviewing a dentist and/or hygienist/ assistant.  A dentist would be well qualified because they see and treat our keiki first hand.  Which would provide the information I would need like statistics, prevention, etc.  Some questions I’d like to ask is, “Why do you think Hawaii keiki have such a high rate of tooth decay?”, Had there been an increase over the past years in the amount of keiki with cavities?”, and “How can we better our keiki and families to help stop rotting teeth?”.



Mālama has many different meanings to it.  To me, Mālama means the core values, dependable, reliable, open minded, passionate, etc.  But something that I would also consider Mālama and that I would like to research about is oral care that our keiki in Hawai’i is experiencing.  This relates to Mālama because recently there was a newsarticle mentioning that Hawaii’s keiki has the highest rate of tooth decay and how we could start spreading ways of better oral care.  To find more information about my topic, I could look for more news articles related to my topic, dentist, and maybe children and parents of bad oral care.  The dentists would be the expert I’d like to consult with to get more information because they know first hand about the keiki’s oral care and what they’ve seen before compared to now.

By November 1, 2016.  No Comments on Mālama  Uncategorized   

Writing Center at LCC


Out of all the resources available at LCC, the one I want to focus on is the Writing Center.  Having the opportunity to get help from the Writing Center, it not only gets you a better grade on your paper, but they offer a wide range of resources to help you better understand.  Available to you for FREE is the awesome writing consultants with useful feedback, the Handout box with lots of worksheets to help, and workshops throught the semester.  Though, something I’d want you to know more about is what else the Writing Center offers LCC students.  For this essay I’d like to interview Darcie, a writing consultant and maybe a LCC student who has took advantage of the Writing Center.  I believe that students should use the writing center because it will not only help with writing papers but it will help them better understand and become great with writing in general.

Words to Live by in Life

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-10-33-55-pm“E kula i ka nu’u” is the ‘olelo no’eau I’ve been living by for the past 5 years and means, “Strive for the highest”.  Which to me means, “Perseverance and to never give up because the sky isn’t the limit”.  This ‘olelo no’eau really helped me get through a bad funk that effected myself and academics.  By applying this to my life it helped me set standards to achieve.  Though, a ‘olelo no’eau Id like to start following is “Ike aku, ‘Ike mai. Kokua aku, Kokua mai. Pele ka nohona ‘ohana”.  Meaning “Watch, observe. Help others and accept help. That is the family way”.  Which to me means, “Seek for those in need of helps and when help is given to you, accept it.  Don’t be high makamaka”.  By applying this to my life it will not only teach myself and family humbleness, but also aving a wiser/ great “olelo no’eau to live by.  Although, another wise saying I follow is, “Get over it”.  Meaning to stop draging yourself and move on in life.

Growing Up in the 94


Ever since April 24, 1998, I grew up and lived the past 18 years of my life in a city called “Waipahu”, or for thos who grew up here, “94 block”.  I still live in the same three-story house on Honowai St.  But the only difference is my neighbors that surround me.  It went from one story housing owned by Japanese and Hawaiians to expanded housing rented and owned by Filipinos. Though living in Waipahu, it is different from other cities.  We are known for our spirit, especially at the high school.  If you ask any Waipahu High alumni, “What is Author Awards?” they will for sure tell you that it is the GREATEST experience and a unforgetable one.  From having special events leading up to the day to coming together as a whole school and sowing our school pride that no one can beat, yet there are some who believe that Waipahu and those who live here are “ghetto”.  They only see us a “ghetto” because of a place called “Pooptown”, or Pupuole St. where this is one of the many Section 8 housing you can find throughout Waipahu.  But what many don’t know is that the families who live there are just like any other family trying to make ends meet in Hawai’i.  Life is hard, but living in Waipahu is no different from anywhere else.  That is what I believe.  Especially growing up here for the past 18 years of my life, living here has helped shape me into who I am today because I got to experience how many live in a place labled “ghetto”, Which isn’t so bad because there are gas stations, supermarkets, starbucks, etc.  all throughout Waipahu.