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Wish for a Smile Trust makes orthodontic treatment a reality


Wish for a Smile Trust makes orthodontic treatment a reality

A new public health initiative from the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists is set to make specialist orthodontic treatment available to young people across the country that would not otherwise be able to afford specialist care.

The Wish for a Smile Trust is now open for applications from children aged between 11 and 18. Trustee and founder, Dr Peter Fowler, says the benefits of orthodontic care go beyond a pretty smile.

“Poor teeth and jaw structure has a massive effect on both the physical and psychological development of our children. Good orthodontics is more than just a great smile – it’s about form, function and improved dental hygiene.

A great smile and improved self esteem is often a very positive by-product”

Dr Fowler says applicants should also be prepared to contribute to their care in a very special way.

“A key factor for treatment is the willingness of the patient to undertake 20 hours of approved voluntary work. Patients may walk dogs, read to the blind, or help out at the local Salvation Army shelter.

“This give the young person being treated the opportunity to give back in some way to the community. The Trust depends on sponsorship and charitable donations to cover the cost of treatment and we’re happy to foster that partnership between community and patient.”

Applications to the Wish for a Smile Trust are considered on a number of factors including severity of dental need, family hardship and the child to performing suitable community work prior to or during the course of orthodontic treatment.

Interested applicants need to be clinically assessed by a dentist or dental therapist who will confirm they are eligible to proceed with an application to the Trust.

“There has to be a clear clinical requirement for orthodontic treatment for an application to be considered by the Trust,” says Dr Fowler. “We’re very excited to be able to make the wish for a beautiful smile come true for young people across New Zealand.”

Further information and application forms are available from the NZAO website

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