The Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene School in Cochabamba, Bolivia provides vocational training for indigenous women. As part of their training, both staff and students give free dental care to thousands of children a year. These dental hygienist trainees now have a community service project in the remote village of Morochata, where recently 400 children received preventative fluoride care. Some children required critical care, including 77 extractions and medication from overseeing dentists.
Poor diet, along with virtually no available dental care, has caused a critical health situation. In our 15 years serving the indigenous community, we have treated 30,000 children. For instance, children in shelters have no access to dental care without the Smiles Forever dental hygienist school's outreach program. We serve 16 shelters in Cochabamba. We are expanding to provide dental care to two towns, including one in the jungle to give initial and follow-up treatment to school children.
Smiles Forever enrolls indigenous women & now also young mothers to learn a profession, Dental Hygiene. The more advanced students work along side the staff dentist to give free dental care to thousands of needy children each year during the course of their training. When a woman graduates, with your help, we will be able to employ her to broaden our outreach and to serve more at our walk- in clinic. One woman in our program went on to become a dentist; now she can help give dental care.
We can make a difference in the dental health of a nation with the ever-broadening ripple effect. Smiles Forever educated dental hygienists not only treat thousands during the course of their training, but they also return to work and in other ways serve their community. The graduates have formed a dental hygienist society to help. Our goal is to bring dental care to more indigenous children and their communities at an increased rate. Our successful model can expand quickly to reach more!