During the month of December, the team at St.James Dental raised vital funds for international children’s charity Smile Train. This charity has a single vision, to give every child born with a cleft the opportunity for a healthy and productive life, and the ability to smile.
Many children around the world are living with untreated clefts, and have difficulty eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Cleft treatment requires simple and safe surgery, that offers an immediate benefit. Smile Train is paving the way to help children globally to get the help that they need.
What is a Cleft?
A cleft occurs when certain body parts or structures don’t fuse together properly during foetal development. They are more common than you think, with at least 1 in every 700 babies around the world born with a cleft lip or palate. Babies and children with an oral cleft struggle to feed, breathe, or speak properly, and many will not receive the reconstructive surgery they need. Without treatment, these children are often forced to live out their lives in isolation.
How is it fixed?
Reconstructive surgery for clefts has evolved greatly over the last 50 years. Today’s techniques and procedures have come a long way, making the procedure simple and safe, with an instant transformation for the child.
Smile Train uses the “teach a man to fish” model, to train local medical professionals how to perform the surgery themselves, making it the first cleft-focused organisation with a truly sustainable ethos. They provide the training, funding, and resources to empower local doctors in over 90 countries around the world, so they can provide the reconstructive surgery for free within their own communities and go on to train other doctors.
Smile Train is setting the standard for cleft care and safety around the world and have elevated the level of care seen in hospitals globally. The efficiency and dedication of their work and sponsors, has resulted in safe and high-quality cleft care for over 1.5 million children and they plan to continue this work until every child who needs it has access to the care they deserve.
How can we help?
Throughout December we asked every patient that came through our doors, to give us feedback on how we are doing. We promised to donate £1 for every comment card, £3 for every Facebook post and £5 for every Google review. With your help, St.James Dental raised £308 for this incredible charity.
If you would like to donate, you can find all the information you need online.
You can find inspirational stories and further information about the great work that Smile Train are doing on their Facebook page.