Second Chance Smile
10,000 Jamaicans to benefit from new oral health
Beneficiary of the Ministry’s New Life, New Limb Programme
Ten thousand Jamaicans are to benefit from the Ministry of Health & Wellness's latest oral health and dentures replacement programme dubbed ‘Second Chance Smiles’. The announcement was made by the Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his Sectoral presentation earlier today.
“This year, we will introduce a programme called #2ndChanceSmiles where 10,000 Jamaicans under 60 years old will get an opportunity to apply for replacement dentures through our over 82 dental centres across the island,” the Minister said. “Persons who apply will get measured at these locations and orders made for manufactured dentures. We expect to spend J$60M on this programme over 18 months,” Dr. Tufton added. He noted that the Ministry will also do an assessment of its oral health programme to see what additional measures can be implemented to support tooth/teeth-saving procedures instead of extractions as a first option.“When we extract, particularly poor people’s teeth, especially when they are in the productive years of their lives, we might address the pain, but we also restrict their life chances for happiness and economic gain. That’s not in keeping with principles we should represent,” the Minister maintained.
“A 35-year-old young man without any front teeth is likely to be less employable and less likely to find the ideal partner than someone of a similar age with all his working parts,” he added. Dr. Tufton also revealed that the Ministry would continue its school-based oral hygiene interventions while exploring partnerships with the private sector to promote good oral health.
“We are in a battle for good health that is as much about the mind as it is about the physical being. That physical being, including appearance, can motivate confidence and enhance happiness and well-being. How you feel can be influenced by how you look. Appearances do matter,” Dr. Tufton said.“Public health has a duty not just to treat patients but also to treat them in a manner that aids their reintegration into society. In fact, we should help our patients to reintegrate stronger, better and more confidently so that they get another opportunity to be productive citizens and lead healthier lives for themselves, their families, and society as a whole,” he added.