We have been working with the Dental Mavericks since 2014. Each year, hundreds of children and adolescents receive pain-free dental treatment at a temporary walk-in clinic in the market town of Asni. Using facilities at the local crèche, the temporary clinic is open to families from local villages who receive an individual screening followed by treatments including fluoride, extractions and restorative treatments, carried out in a friendly, caring and safe environment, without the added worry of cost.
From the start, it was apparent that children in local communities were not brushing their teeth regularly and that a lack of dental hygiene was a widespread issue which was causing unnecessary pain for many children.
The Eve Branson Foundation pledged to continue to support this activity on an annual basis and work towards the implementation of a year-round toothbrushing programme to keep the message of good oral hygiene strong. To date, the initiative has helped to treat over 1,500 patients and we have seen a 60% reduction in the number of extractions thanks to fluoride varnish treatments being administered to children to protect their teeth. All children are given demonstrations in healthy toothbrushing as part of the aftercare service on site.
This year’s programme partnered with Unilever Maghreb who generously donated 1,000s of Signal oral hygiene toothbrushing kits. All children who were treated received a Dental Mavericks stickered goodie bag with a Signal toothbrushing kit, colouring pencil and each received a medal.
A women’s area allowed women and children to be treated in private if they wished and have the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have.
The Dental Mavericks have developed a special pain-free methodology to quickly bond and connect and gain trust with children before they even see the dentist and make the experience fun and positive. Children are then encouraged to brush a minimum of three times per week to promote good oral hygiene.
Cally Gedge Dental Mavericks co-founder trustee and operations director said, “Treating such a large number of under 5s is ground-breaking because we really can get right in there from an early age and educate them how to keep their teeth for life.”
As part of delivering a progressive campaign, next year, our joint objective is to start to tackle food education in relation to oral hygiene.
Healthcare is an important part of our mission to improve the wellbeing of families in villages surrounding our three craft centres.