SMD School Students Have Best Teeth in Nepal!
Global Dental Relief (GDR) began working in Nepal in 2001 when a small group of volunteers brought dental care to 450 children at the Shree Mangal Dvip School (SMD) in Kathmandu. Since then SMD has hosted 69 week-long clinics at the school, allowing GDR volunteers to treat tens of thousands of children from the local neighbourhood and beyond.
And this year, In February 2020, we had a vivid reminder that GDR’s model works!
In February 2020 GDR volunteers extended their clinic by one day to give exams to all the children at SMD – it had been 1.5 years and check ups were due.
The day was festive as the students at SMD knew the drill. Toothbrush instruction and a new brush, followed by a dental exam and a fluoride treatment. Students lined up class by class – many of them studying their dental charts and avidly discussing their odds for “perfect teeth.”
After the first 40 student exams the dentists started talking – the kids were great ‘toothbrushers’ and no one had decay. After 80 students we were thrilled, and by the time we treated all 449 students we were astounded!
Only 39 students needed any care at all! That means 91 per cent had “perfect teeth.”
SMD and GDR have been partners for 19 years. Any GDR Nepal volunteer knows the wonderful experience of having an SMD student as a dedicated, talented chair-side assistant. The school health club holds evening tooth brushing sessions, gathering all resident students to brush. And between classes the littlest students gather at the clinic door to watch the action.
This school grew up with dental care and shows to an amazing extent the model works – years of toothbrush and oral hygiene instruction, dental exams and care every 1.5 years leading to the best teeth in Nepal for sure!
Article and photos by Laurie Mathews, Co-founder, Global Dental Relief