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Over 80% of children in townships suffer from tooth decay and the resulting toothache leads to poor school attendance. Only two dentists serve the whole of Khayelitsha, which has a population nearing 1 million people.

Most children in South African townships have never has a toothbrush and instead share theirs with their family.

The LiveSmart project was based on the Fit for School Programme which has been very successful in the Philippines. The Dental Wellness Trust has taken two aspects of Fit for Life to be applied in South Africa – brushing teeth and washing hands.

'Fit For School Logo'




Our supervised brushing programme was started in 3 schools in 2013 as a research project to test the effectiveness of brushing and

handwashing. Children attending the schools with the supervised brushing were found to have improved dental and overall health. Teachers who supervised the sessions noted an improvement in their pupils’ general health and demeanours.

After the pilot study finished, we expanded it and called it LiveSmart. It is now running in 6 schools in South Africa. The programme teaches children in Khayelitsha about the values of brushing their teeth, washing their hands and eating and drinking healthily.

In January 2014 one of the supervisors decided she wanted to help more than just the children at her school. Mavis set up and after school club at her house so that kids could benefit from the LiveSmart message whilst also staying safe at night time. She has now expanded this to 5 sites and children come every day to benefit from the DWT and Mavis’ Work.

1.Providing targeted oral health education for children

2.Providing oral health education programmes for the elderly

3.Sharing information and publicising good practice amongst dental health practitioners

Help a child now with a regular donation

£10 a month can...

buy 25 toothbrushes to give to children.

£25 a month can...

buy 28 tubes of toothpaste to give to children.

£50 a month can...

buy 140 bars of soap to use at a LiveSmart clubs.

Our locations and who we help

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