"Dental decay is the most common chronic disease on the planet, affecting more than 90% of the world’s population. It is the most prevalent childhood disease, affecting more than 70% of school children worldwide. In some countries, such as the Philippines, dental pain is the most frequent reason for absenteeism from school. These striking facts are rarely noted, yet they happen right before everybody’s eyes." - Dr Habib Benzian, DDS, PhD, co-author & project leader for The Oral Health Atlas
In 2009, while traveling through some of the most impoverished regions of SE Asia, PHS co-founders Michelle Patterson & Hollie Mae Schultz, couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming number of children who suffered from preventable dental disease. They met a little girl in a Cambodian Orphanage who was too ashamed to smile because she had holes in her front teeth. They were saddened to learn that many children either shared toothbrushes, didn’t have one or knew what a toothbrush was. Michelle and Hollie Mae felt something needed to be done. They discussed the idea of starting an organization that would provide basic dental tools and knowledge to underprivileged children globally.
The birth of PHS began with a trial mission in the slums of Saigon, Vietnam at Agape Children’s Home (relocated and renamed Eden Family Home). Michelle and Hollie Mae provided the organization with a lesson on oral health and stressed the importance of home care compliance. In addition, they personally donated floss, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Even with limited resources they realized the enormous and positive impact that was made. Thanks to support from family, friends, volunteers and donors PHS became a 501(c)(3) in 2010. Since then, PHS has traveled throughout SE Asia, East Africa, and Haiti implementing sustainable oral health programs. PHS also has a pilot program in Minnesota!
For more information please visit www.projecthealthysmile.org.
With your help, PHS can continue to sustain these programs and build new ones. You are invited to be a part of their mission and save smiles worldwide!
Thank you for your support.