GIVING BACK: Smiles in Ocho Rios

by May 31, 2022Pulse

Bright smiles were the order of the day in and around the resort town of Ocho Rios after more than 300 local residents were treated to world class dental care. It was a great example of how tourism players give back to their local communities.

Under the Spring Sealant Project which was made possible by the Sandals Foundation free of charge, members of the United States-based volunteer group, Great Shape! Inc provided care to 340 students and 25 adults. Dental care was provided by a contingent of 27 practicing professionals from USA, Canada and Jamaica who volunteered their services to support the dental and overall welfare needs of Jamaican families that need it most.

Dental Hygienist and 30-time repeat Great Shape! volunteer, Leanne Rodine got teary eyed when asked what makes her continue to return.

“To be able to see these children smile after providing for them well-needed dental care makes our visit meaningful. Many of these children have not had the chance to get optimal dental care and for us to help them protect their teeth by applying sealant to shield them from decay is our primary mission,” she said.

“Being able to empower these children and parents to have their teeth be healthy gives us added joy. As dental professionals, we rather prevent the tooth decay than having to treat them, hence this mission means a lot to us,” Rodine continued.

General Manager at Sandals Ochi beach resort and Sandals Foundation Ambassador, Charles Blacher spoke of the importance of giving back to the local community.

“The mission of Sandals is always towards giving the best service available to those we serve and being able to partner with Great Shape! Inc is one such venture that allows us the ability to serve our communities. We are happy to do our part creating a strong health foundation for our children to grow,” he said. 

The four-day preventative oral health care clinic targeted children from the five primary schools of Parry Town, Boscobel, Priory, Exchange and Ocho Rios. Each patient received dental sealants, topical fluoride varnish, a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and oral health education in addition to emergency fillings and extractions.


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