November 24, 2014 – The Sandals Foundation/Great Shape! Inc. Sealant Programme has contributed to an additional 200 smiles on the faces of children at Boscobel Primary. The Sealant project is designed to reduce dental cavities by some 50 per cent. As children living in these areas have limited access to dental care, sealants assist in saving and preventing teeth from rotting.
Under the programme, dentists use sealants and fluoride treatments to reduce the occurrence of cavities helping children maintain healthy teeth for life. A sealant is a clear liquid material that a dental professional coats on to the surface of permanent molars. The procedure is painless, quick and effectively seals out bacteria that cause cavities.
Apart from receiving sealants, students who had dental defects were also treated to a complete dental package which included a thorough cleaning, fillings and extractions.
“My teeth are so sparkling and I feel so happy,” noted Ajay McKenzie, a grade 5 student at the school. “The dentists were very professional and made me feel relaxed. I now love going to the dentist”.
A number of health facilities, as well as schools in Montego Bay, Hanover and Westmoreland, will also benefit from the programme. The project also included training and teaching local health authorities involved in the programme new techniques and sensitisation to new technology in the dental world.
Perlita Trail, Principal of the Boscobel Primary School, lauded the Sandals Foundation and Great Shape! Inc. for their sterling effort in bringing dental care to the school.
“I am so happy we were selected and the entire school population really appreciates the hard work and time that the volunteers have committed. The students are all smiling with confidence. These treatments would have cost us thousands of dollars and we were able to get them free of cost” Mrs. Trail noted.
The idea for a Sealant programme was developed between Sandals Foundation and volunteers for Great Shape’s 1,000 Smiles, the world’s largest international humanitarian dental project. Since 1,000 Smiles’ eight-year partnership with the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, volunteers have observed the powerful benefits of sealants.
Great Shape! Inc. dental professionals have partnered with the Sandals Foundation to train local health professionals to implement and continue the programme in order to promote sustainability.