Apr 30, 2019

From Pain to Gain: Bolivian Students are Treated

Students from UPAL a University in Cochabamba
Students from UPAL a University in Cochabamba

April SDF Project

Hello Smiles Forever Friends & Supporters!

The Smiles Forever team just completed a project in Villa Tunari, Bolivia in April. For the last three years we have been working on a project with Maria Del Rosario, a primary school in this small village. The project included applying Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) to children starting as early as the age 5 and throughout their school years. We have collected data on this group of children for the last three years. We are excited to announce that after this visit, we saw a vast reduction in the presence of new and active dental caries.

The West Foundation has gifted us with a grant that will allow us to continue this project for another 3 years in Villa Tunari. This grant not only guarantees continued care for this group of adolescents, but also allows Smiles Forever to begin a similar tracking & treatment program at another school in the Fall of 2019.

Our team of Bolivian Hygienists and Dentists worked along side hygienists from the United States and dental students from UPAL University for five days applying SDF, extracting broken teeth and providing dental cleanings. We achieved our goal of seeing a reduction in active dental caries. In the Fall we would like to spend our efforts placing plastic composites to cover the existing arrested lesions.
 

           

This patient is happy, pain free and able to chew without discomfort after our SDF treatment. The primary tooth that was previously decayed and now arrested will exfoliate and the permanent tooth will erupt and develop normally.

                                                                               

The primary left tooth was at risk of abscess and the permanent tooth below could have been affected by the active caries if not for the SDF intervention.  This illustration was included because many of our supporters are dental professionals and need a visual to see precisely how dramatic our place-holder method can be.

                       Save the Date!  Saturday November 9, 2019

Our Smiles Forever Board is planning our annual auction for Saturday November 9, 2019. This event will be at the Queen City Yacht Club in Seattle. Please mark your calendars to celebrate our 19th year with us! Get ready to celebrate Italian style with our 2nd time of doing the delectable Taste of Tuscany theme.  

We will be hosting a Live and Silent Auction with entertainment. Small plates, wine, beer and of course, sparkling Italian soda will be served and perhaps the lemon drink of the Isle of Capri! 

                        Thank you for your continued support of Smiles Forever!

If you would like to make a donation to support our efforts at Smiles Forever via GlobalGiving, please click on the link below. We appreciate your generous donations throughout the year.

Your donations help to support this project in Villa Tunari! Your gifts will fund a new project that we will begin at another school in the community.

Mar 19, 2019

Famous for My Smile

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Not only is this lucky Bolivian girl pretty in pink, but she is also "famous for my smile" and perfect for a Smiles Forever poster child.  We will be checking on her again this April when our research team returns to the village of Chapare.  She and her schoolmates have received toothbrushes and initial dental care instructions, and we will find out how well she is doing preventing cavities.

Doctor Duffin has spearheaded our study of a cavity sealant used to save teeth.  Here I am pictured with this wonderful, caring dentist and author on a recent trip to the Chapare region school.  I will again return to serve with our Smiles Forever team, including several of our dental hygienist tooth fairy volunteers, this April.

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This next photo shows how well our portable cot-like dental chair works in the field. Some of our young patients require more extensive dental help. In this poor region and in all of Bolivia, we have observed dietary deficiencies which affect dental health.  It is so important that our work continues with your help. Whether you have just discovered our project on GlobalGiving, or are a long-time supporter, you may be assured your contribution does so much to improve lives. No child should suffer the pain of tooth decay and the embarrassment of tooth loss, just because no dental care was available. We hope to continue with serving this community for a minimum of three more years.Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

April is a wonderful time to show your support by donating to GlobalGiving's Little by Little campaign which begins at 6:00 a.m. Seattle time on Monday April 8th and concludes a minute before 9:00 p.m. Seattle time on Friday April 12th. New this year is an additional 10% matching bonus for Superstar organizations like Smiles Forever. This means that your donations up to $50 will be matched at 60%. Please join us and help us meet the minimum requirement of 10 donors and $1,000. Then we will be eligible for additional prizes. Now that the GlobalGiving housekeeping fee has been reduced to 8%, your donations go even further to support the work you believe in.

Looking ahead to fall festivities:  Save Saturday November 9th for a fun time supporting Smiles Forever's work of 19 years and our year as a recipient of the health prize for World of Children.  This year we will feature Justin Timm, a dynamic, friendly auctioneer who hails from down Portland way.  Expect to share the joy and anti-pasta platters and so much more in Touch of Tuscany style.

I so look forward to visiting our research project again and I am excited for the opportunity to get an update on Smiles Forever's unofficial "Famous for My Smile" poster child.  I will be talking with many other poster children, so fortunate to own a toothbrush and be selected to experience what will start a lifetime of better dental health.  Thank you everyone!


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Mar 4, 2019

Wishing to Seal the Deal with "Miracle" Sealant

Welcome to 2019 where in Bolivia Smiles Forever is Fighting to Save Teeth adding GIC Sealant!

tumblr_mn8b8sLRb61rkz363o1_1280.jpgYou have seen our many updates where we have utilized SDF, a compound which applied directly to teeth arrests the decay.  This process has been so critical in avoiding painful extractions in children by stopping the spread of tooth decay.  In the schoolchildren of Villa Tunari located in a humid jungle zone of Bolivia, Smiles Forever has been conducting a three-year study which will time out this 14212089_10153872063765098_312681009412914299_n.jpgApril.  Hundreds of children and  their thousands of teeth have benefited.  Decay for the most part was stopped, and the tooth remained as a space-saver until a permanent one grew in.

What Smiles Forever would like to do with your help and help from a specialized grant is to continue this outstanding work for another three years.  What would be different is to upgrade the treatment of children where so much of the tooth has already decayed with a special GIC sealant.  This would be a special filling compound or in dental circles what is now being called a "miracle" sealant.IMG_7387.JPG

According to world protocols, our patients would be seen at six-month intervals and all data meticulously recorded.  Already Smiles Forever has invaluable data to share.  The longterm project has yielded so much knowledge in this largely stable population.  Over 70% have been in the study or seen before within the 3-year timeframe.  An opportunity to extend our ground-breaking SDF work with the addition of GIC fillings would be extremely valuable.  Even non-professionals can appreciate the happiness our treatments have brought to hundreds of children and their families.IMG_7391.JPG 

This is a rare situation in predominently indigenous peoples of Bolivia who largely lack dental care.  Can you believe that with the help of our U.S. Toothfairies we have supplied 2,000 toothbrushes already and hope to distribute 2,000 more.  Children think toothbrushing is fun and participate willingly in our hygienist provided education sessions.  Charts are made to encourage both home and school brushing habits.  Everyone is proud of their toothbrush, such a simple tool to maintaining good overall health.IMG_7117.JPG

 Thank you sincerely as you wish with us for a successful year.     Sandy (pictured with other World of Children winners),The World of Children 2018 Awards Ceremony & Benefit was an incredible night! On Thursday, November 1 in New York City, Sandy Kemper and five others were honored for dedicating their lives to changing the future for vulnerable children.


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