Many poor people in Thailand do not have access to even basic dental care. In some rural areas children do not even own a toothbrush and have never been taught how to care for their teeth. We plan to give 1,000 children a beautiful smile by providing them with basic dental exam and treatment, provide a toothbrush and toothpaste, instruction in basic dental hygiene and a one time fluoride treatment.
In Thailand there is only one dentist for every 10,000 people, but the overwhelming majority of dentists live in larger cities. In rural communities the closest dentist could be a five hour journey away. The result is that many poor children living in rural areas may never see a dentist. It is not unusual for children to suffer with a tooth ache for weeks or even months before they are able to get help.
The best way to help these children is to teach them how to take good care of their teeth. By preventative measures children can avoid the pain and expense of loosing teeth. By teaching them life long habits and demonstrating the importance of good dental care these children will improve their overall health and avoid unnecessary dental problems.
The goal is that these children will develop good habits that will help throughout their whole life. As they come to understand the importance of taking care of their teeth they will grow up to help their own children live healthier lives. It may seem like a small thing, but statistics show a strong correlation between healthy teeth and longevity (see The International Journal of Oral Health 13:52-57, 2017).