Straighter smile dividend from grant
Waitara boy Flynn Bell is a smiler, not a talker.
The 11-year-old received a grant to have a set of braces fitted on his teeth.
The support is from the Wish for a Smile trust and paid to have his braces bonded and for his regular checkups.
As a part of the application process Flynn had to write a letter to the trust setting out his situation.
"I don't want to show my teeth because I get embarrassed. If you could help fix my teeth it would make me really happy," his letter said.
Flynn was accepted for the grant and now has braces fitted on his top teeth. "I'm happy," he said.
Flynn's parents, Wayne and Tracy Bell, were overwhelmed by the grant their son had been given.
"It's going to increase his confidence so much. I'm so pleased my boy has had this chance," Mr Bell said.
As a part of the agreement Flynn must do 20 hours of community work after school at Manukorihi Intermediate.
Flynn's mother said paying for braces was expensive and the grant had helped her son to smile.
"It's just great that there are people in the community who do things like this. We pay $10 a week for 80 weeks, which is much more achievable than $7000," she said.
The Wish For A Smile Trust is a public health initiative of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists.
The trust provides specialist orthodontic services to young New Zealanders with very crooked teeth or a particularly bad bite, but who can't afford orthodontic treatment.
Applications are now open for the next round of grants. For more information visit www.orthodontists.org.nz/ wishforasmile.
Taranaki Daily News