Great Shape! Inc.’s Sealant Dental Project is a program to gather research, teach dental hygiene, and apply sealants and fluoride to every child in Jamaica. The program launched in 2010 in one school in Green Island, then expanded to communities, with the hope that one day the Ministry of Health will be able to offer the program island wide.
The Sealant Project evolved out of the 1000 Smiles Dental Project. 1000 Smiles volunteers offer free access to dental care, including: fillings, cleanings, extractions, sealants, dentures and oral health education in temporary dental clinics and schools. The Sealant Project consists of a smaller group of volunteers who travel to the island twice a year to update data and apply sealants and fluoride.
This project provides a wonderful opportunity for training as well, as our international volunteers collaborate with the Jamaican Ministry of Health and Jamaica’s University of Technology.
Tooth decay leads to disease, unemployment, even death. Dental disease is the number one, public health problem in the world – and it’s preventable. A successful community-based sealant program serves more than our chosen Caribbean. Similar programs could prove useful around the world in efforts to improve dental health.