The Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene clinic in Cochabamba, Bolivia provides free or at-cost dental care to thousands of children a year. Over the past 22 years, an astounding 60,000 indigenous children have a better future beginning with dental health. A key research project for Smiles Forever is in the nearby highlands zone where the latest in cavity prevention and dental treatment is given. Bolivia still has Covid 19 restrictions for health professionals, so our teaching program is paused.
Poor diet, along with virtually no available dental care, has caused a critical health situation. In our 22 years serving the indigenous community, we have treated 60,000 children. Children in 40 shelters have no access to dental care without Smiles Forever clinic's outreach program. We are expanding to provide emergency dental care to Refugio Rafael in the nearby highlands and to give initial and follow-up treatment to school children. We plan to resume training young women as hygienists.
Smiles Forever is a field-tested international award-winning Dental Hygiene full service program. Students have worked along side the staff dentist to give free dental care to thousands of needy children each year during the course of their training. Besides offering optimum care at our dental service clinic, we are also broadening our outreach by serving 40 off-site facilities mainly for at-risk indigenous children. One project serves 250 school children in the nearby highlands area.
We can make a difference in the dental health of a nation with an ever-broadening ripple effect. Smiles Forever educated dental hygienists not only have treated thousands during the course of their training, but they also work in other ways to serve their community. One graduate went on to become a dentist and now works here in the clinic. Our goal is to bring dental care to more indigenous children and their communities. Our successful model can expand quickly to reach more!