Introducing the Wish For A Smile Trust

Meet Shiquitta Mitchell, one of Orthotek’s first patients to receive specialist orthodontic treatment through the Wish For A Smile Trust (WFAST).

wish for a smileThe WFAST is a public health initiative established by the New Zealand Association Orthodontists (NZAO) in 2011. The Trust aims to make specialist orthodontic treatment available to young New Zealanders who would otherwise be unable to access orthodontic care. 

Participating NZAO orthodontists volunteer their equipment, materials, expertise and time to treat selected children within their community who are unable to access orthodontic care because of financial hardship. An active member of the NZAO, Dr Philip Green provides specialist orthodontic treatment to approved applicants in the WFAST programme.

Orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference to a child through increased self-esteem and an optimistic future outlook. Unfortunately, unlike standard dental care, orthodontics is not free for young people in New Zealand.

The WFAST fund received an incredible kick start of $180,000 when a 2011 story on Newshub’s Campbell Live TV show generated a record volume of donations to help Christchurch boy Evan Hill. As this far exceeded  what was needed to correct Evan’s teeth – and his sister’s – the team at Campbell Live pledged the excess funds to the WFAST to help other children across New Zealand gain access to specialist orthodontic care.  

Applications to the WFAST can only be considered if they are accompanied by a professional assessment and recommendation by your dentist or school dental therapist, with success also dependent on: 

  • Dental need based on the severity of the orthodontic problem – A Clinical Assessment Form must be completed by a dental professional
  • Demonstration of family financial hardship as per the Patient Application Form
  • Age of the patient (must be aged between 11 and 16 years at the time of application)
  • Applicants must reside in a community serviced by a participating Wish for a Smile Trust orthodontist
  • Willingness on the part of the child to have, and care for, orthodontic appliances (i.e. braces)
  • Commitment from extended family/ whanau to contribute towards the cost of treatment
  • A willingness and commitment from the applicant to perform 20 hours of community work during the course of the orthodontic treatment

The WFAST Board meets at the end of February and August each year to consider and assess applications. 

If you have any questions, please check NZAO’s Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact:

Wish For A Smile Trust Administrator 
3 Clyde Road, Riccarton
Christchurch 8041

E: WFAST@orthodontists.org.nz | F: 03 962 0283

The Wish For A Smile Trust is a non-profit charitable trust that is dependent on donations. For more information, contact us.

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