CHARITIES THAT REALLY PUT A SMILE ON OUR FACES
From the mobile charitable dental clinics through to the organisations who make it possible for the public to donate oral healthcare products – New Zealand is facing up to the importance of literally bringing a smile to a child’s face.
The long-term benefits of the lower socioeconomic groups having access to dental healthcare cannot be overestimated. Charities such as Revive a Smile and DCM Dental Clinic reach out to the public and professionals to volunteer donations of dental products or services to those in need.
There are touching stories of homeless elders who had been in pain for many years being helped by a simple tooth extraction. These are the unfortunate overlooked who simply cannot afford any form of oral health routine on their current social benefits.
It is widely thought that dental health is being treated as a luxury. Currently, half of New Zealand’s population put off essential dental treatments because of cost. The number of children hospitalised for preventable oral issues are on the increase. Nutrition and oral hygiene should be on the school curriculums and have a higher profile in general until the problems are off-set.
The impact of charities that focus on dental care for the homeless, victims of domestic violence, refugees, youth, low income adults and the elderly are truly working for the greater good. The aim is to empower any impoverished to take control of their dental health and set them on the road to wellness.
As Doctor Johay Amith of Dentaltoday states: Sometimes brushing and flossing are not enough. It is important to use the time with any patient in the dentist’s chair to inform about the necessity of good nutrition. Simply by anyone from the public donating a few oral healthcare products can give a dental care practitioner the chance to impart some tips about brushing techniques and the benefit of swapping out sweets for fruit to someone who is economically disadvantaged.
No one wants to have bad teeth and pain. It is reassuring to know that there are charitable organisations active in New Zealand today who have recognised that dental care and re-educating about nutrition and oral hygiene are a basic human right with a worthwhile and invaluable impact for the generations of the future.