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Wanda was unhappy with her smile. It affected how she felt each day. She didn’t like her teeth and was afraid of people judging her.
That’s when Cecilia, President of the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association, stepped in. Cecilia and her team were recipients of the 2017-2018 Pictou County Community Grant which allowed them to fund The Bright Smiles Project in their community.
This one-of-a-kind project provides dental services for low-income adults living with mental illness in Pictou County.
“They gave me my life back!” exclaimed Wanda, whose new found confidence has opened the door to a new relationship.
“Because of the work done on my front teeth, I can now smile proudly which, in turn, has brought a new person into my life.”
Projects like these, funded by donations received from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, help fight the stigma and stereotypes associated with poor oral health and aim to improve employment opportunities and social interaction for their participants.
“We’re so pleased,” said Cecilia. “I wish this sort of program was available everywhere.”
The services are provided by professional dentists and dental assistants working with a team of volunteers from the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association.
There’s no judgement and no prejudice - just brighter smiles and glowing compliments.
Each participant of the program receives a full dental exam and treatment including a recall exam and cleaning after one year. They are also provided with oral care products for a year and education on how to care for their teeth, proper nutrition and the effects of smoking and medications that cause dry mouth.
The dentists and hygienists offering their services also provide education on the importance of good oral care to program participants like Wanda, who was recently invited to share her experience at Models for Mental Health in Pictou.
“I was in hiding because of my smile.”
Today, Wanda has something to smile about: an improved oral health, better oral hygiene and a higher self-esteem.
“Because of the work done on my teeth, I can now smile proudly.”
Thanks to donors like you who make programs like this possible, The Bright Smiles project does exactly that – it makes smiles brighter.
Just ask Wanda!