When people think of dental hygiene, they think of access to routine dental care, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Unfortunately, in a third world country like Madagascar, that is a luxury most would take for granted. When I first started the dental project, I discovered that only 1 in 5 children even owned a toothbrush. Unfortunately, people in Madagascar must choose between a toothbrush and food. In countries that are financially stable, dental hygiene is something that many people don’t think twice about. Easy access to affordable dental care and supplies can be a several hour walk or bus ride for remote areas in Madagascar. Most people will remove a tooth on their own, rather than pay for money to travel, doctor and medications.
When you donate a toothbrush to a person in need, it gives them a sense of empowerment. It makes them feel as if they are in control of their own dental care. Along with proper dental education and regular access to dental care, they are able to have a higher self esteem and build more confidence in their smile. When you talk to someone, the first thing that is noticed is a persons smile, is it bright? Are they able to smile without fear or being self-conscious? If you answer no, ask how you can help them. Do you have an extra toothbrush or tube of toothpaste lying around? Are you a person who likes to stock up for emergencies? Consider donating one toothbrush or one tube of toothpaste to a person in need, what someone may take for granted, can bring a smile to someone else’s face. Literally.
Visit healthysmilesglobal.org to donate. Even a single toothbrush from your side is a luxury for someone out there.