Free dental care for disadvantaged children in Russia
The second phase of the charitable programme Smiles of Russian Children was rolled out in March. Children from six cities will learn all about good oral hygiene, as well as receiving free dental care.
Figures show that 73% of Russian children under the age of 12 suffer from tooth decay, with the number rising to 82% by the time they’re 15. 75% of all school-age children don’t brush their teeth regularly and only 50% visit their dentist once or twice a year, say the programme’s organisers.
The Russian Dental Association and the Wrigley Company Foundation have been helping children from socially disadvantaged groups to develop healthy and beautiful smiles for the past two years. The project aims to provide dental treatment for children ranging from 7-11 years of age and adolescents from 11-18. It covers large families, one-parent families, socially disadvantaged families, families with disabled children, small children and unemployed families.
“We launched the Smiles of Russian Children programme last year in Lipetsk, Chelyabinsk and Vladivostok but we don’t want it to stop there. Extending its geographical range will enable us to bring healthy smiles to even more children. This year, we will be taking the programme to Vladikavkaz, Novosibirsk, Samara, Perm, Ulyanovsk and Stavropol”, said Maher Batruni, CEO, Wrigley (Mars Inc.) Russia.
As in the previous year, this second phase will focus on the following areas: Consultations with children’s dentists and orthodontists; providing professional hygiene services, together with cavity and orthodontic examination/treatment.
“Good oral hygiene depends mainly on the prevention of dental diseases. Without timely intervention minor health problems can become serious, resulting in much more complicated treatment being required. The programme has already been successfully rolled out in three Russian regions, with hundreds of children having received essential treatment”, said Vladimir Sadovsky, President of the Russian Dental Association.
More than 800 children have received free expert dental care since the programme was launched last year. About 1,000 children have taken part in workshops and learned all about good oral care.