The Dentist Magazine.

Grant helps Todos Juntos provide dental care for children

Published: 03/05/2017

More children living in the slums of Buenos Aires will be provided with free dental care after international dental charity, Dentaid, made a grant to Todos Juntos Children’s Trust, a charity dedicated to improving oral health in the Argentinian capital.

Last year, Todos Juntos provided 35,000 dental treatments for children living in desperately poor communities in Buenos Aires.  The charity was established in 2005, after its founder, Fiona Watson, realised the extent of tooth decay among Argentinian children and the effect that a lack of access to dental services was having on their lives.  Many were suffering severe dental pain which affected their ability to eat, talk and smile.  Todos Juntos now operates three Sonrisa (meaning smile) clinics in Buenos Aries which provide free dental treatment for underprivileged children.  The charity also runs oral health education sessions in surrounding schools, distributes toothbrushes and toothpaste and gives one-to-one hygiene sessions for all its young patients.  Services are provided by Argentinian dentists funded by Todos Juntos.

Dentaid supports projects around the world that improve access to safe, sustainable and affordable dental care. In addition to running its own oral health programmes, the charity funds schemes delivered by a range of partners and is delighted to support Todos Juntos with a grant of £2,000.

Jacqueline James, overseas project manager at Dentaid, commented, “Sadly about 90 per cent of children living in the Argentinian slums suffer from tooth decay and many don’t even own a toothbrush or toothpaste. They are considered to be a luxury item which is a problem we see in many countries around the world.

“When we heard about Todos Juntos and their amazing work in Buenos Aires we were delighted to support them by making this grant. Many of these children would never be able to afford to see a dentist otherwise which affects their general wellbeing and life chances. Through a combination of treatment, training and education, we are committed to helping people out of oral pain and we are sure this partnership will achieve that in Buenos Aries.

Fiona Watson, founder of Todos Juntos Children's Trust, added, "It is never easy to fund a small grassroots charity so I am really excited about this partnership with Dentaid. Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease worldwide and yet it is probably the most forgotten of all diseases. Joining hands with Dentaid might shed a bit more light on the slum children of Buenos Aires. Behind each child we help, behind every healthy smile we give, there are still ten more children waiting in line for treatment. It is just never ending, and grants to support dental charities are very hard to come by. But, as the wonderful Angela Davis quote goes,  'you have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world and then you have to do it all the time'. We’re doing just that, one smile at a time, 7,000 smiles a year. "