It was after reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and my husband Tony and I reaching 40 years and over, that something became obvious to us; although our lives were full and rewarding, they lacked purpose – a sort of gap that we needed to move into.
More importantly, we believe that purpose creates passion, fulfilment and helps your life flow with energy and adventure that goes beyond money. On this note we took the plunge and set up our charity, Dental Mavericks.
The aim is to leave a legacy of health care, hygiene and education and to help Moroccan children gain access to pain free dentistry.
We were first told about the Eve Branson Foundation by a friend Matt Butler and immediately wanted to get in touch. I contacted Eve first by email, which led to speaking on the phone where we found great synergy in our projects.
Over the last six years the charity has gone from strength to strength in its working towards a sustainable oral health programme for children in the Rif and Atlas Mountains, Morocco. During project visits we introduce the oral health programme and encourage locals to continue with the programme from one year to another. This has proved to be invaluable since in Asni in particular, tooth decay has decreased, and oral hygiene has increased – fewer extractions!
The children in the rural areas of the Morocco have little access to dental care – this coupled with a high sugar diet and no fluoride in the water, results in the desperate need for dental health care. In the clinics we set up with the Eve Branson Foundation, we treat children from the local school, together with children from further afield who have heard about us through posters in the village.
Our dental work leaves children out of pain and able to study better in school and concentrate on their work.
Our focus on children, opposed to adults, is because we can catch problems early and introduce long term solutions for their dental healthcare – they are the future. With limited time and resources, our vision is to educate communities on the benefits of oral hygiene and to set up tooth-brushing clubs in schools.
We supply these beautiful kids with toothbrushes, toothpaste and fluoride treatment together with access to yearly dental care, which would look at extraction and long term restorative on their adult teeth. This is part of our ‘Teeth for Life’ programme.
On our first trip to Asni, the situation was heart-breaking. Most of the kids had one or more abcesses making them at risk of septsis which can be fatal.
We have just completed our third year with the Eve Branson Foundation and are happy to report that around 40 per cent of the kids from the school and surrounding villages who have attended clinics previously, did not need extraction this year and instead were simply given fluoride treatment.
(Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralise the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralisation as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.)
We look forward to a sustained future working alongside the Eve Branson Foundation in Asni and would like to say a big thank you to our Trustees who are the core clinicians on our projects – Richard Howarth, Jas Sandhu and Chris Branfield, Tony Gedge and to the rest of our amazing team from 2016 – Gabriella Wenholtz, John Vander Kolk, Teresa Day, Sarah Perrot, Jennifer Gallagher, Meg Trimbell, YassineAjaha, Ilyass Hosni, Domien Doms. Also Kindred Project team – Jess Shaw Roberts, Jaimie Templeton and Pete Lawrence.
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