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Belize City students benefit from Project Smile

Picture: Cleveland.com

Posted: Monday, May 7, 2018. 9:48 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Marie Calabrese is an American dentist who has volunteered her time to help children in underprivileged communities around the world, including Belize, where she is currently conducting a dental clinic.

In February, Calabrese came to Belize for the second round of Project Smile.

Project Smile was formed by American dentist Steve Acuff. The program focuses on preventative dentistry. Volunteer dentists and hygienists clean teeth, offer fluoride treatment, administer sealant, provide fillings and remove baby teeth from young people in Belize city.

Project Smile was taken to St. Mary’s Primary School in Belize city, where volunteer dentists provided free dental care.

Calabrese volunteered and shared her experience in Belize on a blog recently: “Most people in Belize City are living day-to-day…There’s not a lot of wealth there. There are street vendors who will try to sell you things. You’ll see clothes drying on lines.”

Calabrese says that a lot of the children have tooth decay that stems from lack of education and access to sweets.

The volunteer dentists would set up in the classrooms at St. Mary’s and see students from ages 4 to 14.

The team saw a total of 275 students.

Calabrese also stated that the Belize city children are happy to see volunteers at their school.

Calabrese is thankful to Lee Buck, a representative of Patterson Dental, who donated $1,000 worth of dental supplies she purchased for the trip.

She plans to return to Belize in 2020 as part of Project Smile again.

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