Braces get Jade smil­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Jade Tavita-Hakaraia has a lot to smile about.

For the next cou­ple of years she will have free or­thodon­tic care from the Wish For A Smile Trust.

The trust is made up of or­tho­don­tists across the coun­try who spon­sor Kiwi teens with very crooked teeth or a par­tic­u­larly bad bite.

Jade was one of 30 na­tion­wide re­cip­i­ents and ap­plied af­ter her nana read about it.

‘‘My nana was def­i­nitely the hap­pi­est be­cause she was the one who kept en­cour­ag­ing me to do it. ‘‘So she was stoked.’’ The braces went on last month and Jade is ex­cited to have a straight smile.

‘‘I’m so happy I was cho­sen. It def­i­nitely wasn’t a pos­si­bil­ity for my fam­ily to think of braces as an op­tion with­out this op­por­tu­nity.’’

The 18-year-old says she was of­ten teased about her teeth.

‘‘They’d com­pare me to Tight Eyez, the dancer. He had some­thing wrong with his teeth and that wasn’t nice.’’

She says hear­ing prob­lems added to her in­se­cu­ri­ties.

‘‘Some­times I didn’t know what was go­ing on. I went through my child­hood not re­ally know­ing what oth­ers were say­ing about me.’’

As a re­cip­i­ent Jade will have to make good on her ap­pli­ca­tion prom­ises.

‘‘I men­tioned that this op­por- tu­nity would change my life and that if I could, I would do 100 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. I also said I was grate­ful for this op­por­tu­nity and that hope­fully I’d be se­lected.’’

Re­quire­ments in­clude a clin­i­cal as­sess­ment form, a let­ter out­lin­ing why or­thodon­tic treat­ment is needed and let­ter from her par­ents and dean sup­port­ing her ap­pli­ca­tion. Jade is also re­quired to make sure she takes good care of her pearly whites.

She wants other teens to know about the trust be­cause se­vere den­tal prob­lems af­fect a lot of peo­ple.

‘‘Some peo­ple have re­ally low self es­teem due to it, so be­ing aware that this is avail­able is the most im­por­tant thing. ‘‘The least you can do is ap­ply.’’ Ap­pli­ca­tions are as­sessed by the trust’s na­tional se­lec­tion com­mit­tee twice a year, but are wel­come at any time.

The Wish For A Smile Trust is a pub­lic health ini­tia­tive of the New Zealand As­so­ci­a­tion of Or­tho­don­tists.

Straight­en­ing up: Jade Tav­i­taHakaraia is re­ceiv­ing free or­thodon­tic care from the Wish For A Smile Trust.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.