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GRT-I Melusi Brings Mega-Watt Smiles to World Oral Health Day

Screening in progress

Melusi, Pretoria – When World Oral Health Day came around on March 20th, the GRT-I Melusi team rallied their community for a truly smile-worthy celebration! Joining forces with the University of Pretoria’s Department of Community Dentistry, they rolled out the red carpet for 219 beaming crèche kids in Melusi.

The fun kicked off on March 13th at the Melusi Holistic Primary Health Centre, where GRT-I’s local champions worked tirelessly behind the scenes. From securing the perfect screening venues to wrangling sponsors, no detail was too small for this dedicated crew. “Our SAPRIN branding and deep roots here allowed us to really energize everyone,” beamed GRT-I’s Themba Masango. Vibrant banners and gazebos broadcast the big day, creating an air of excitement. As the little grins started arriving, they were ushered into the full V.I.P. experience – a FREE dental screening and smorgasbord of oral health edutainment led by UP’s dentists. Each child got their own goody bag brimming with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, snacks, and water.

“We wanted to make this a total celebration while driving home the importance of developing great brushing habits early,” explained lead dentist Dr Jessica Mokoena. “It’s not easy motivating kids, but we had them grinning from ear-to-ear!”. For those few who required further dental treatment, referrals were issued to local clinics. But the vast majority left feeling empowered with tools for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. The university’s budding dentists also got an invaluable first taste of community outreach. “Seeing the impact, we can have, inspires us to take our skills to underserved areas,” a student remarked. They’ll document the experience in portfolios.

As the World Oral Health Day party wrapped up, GRT-I was already looking ahead – committed to following up with families to ensure any needed treatments happen seamlessly. “Moments like these are what unite a community,” Masango said. “And we’re just getting started bringing bigger, brighter smiles to Melusi!”.