Paradise Acres residents get dental care supplies from student dentist


Paradise Acres residents get dental care supplies from student dentist

Observer West writer

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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PARADISE, St James -This year's Weatherly Independence Day Dental treat for residents of Paradise Acres in the resort city of Montego Bay, took on a new look as Ambriel Weatherly, daughter of noted dentist and football coach Dr Dean Weatherly, took over the tradition for the first time.

Accompanied by her father and other relatives, the third year Howard University College of Dentistry student spent time handing out samples of toothpaste and other oral hygiene products, to scores of the residents, stressing that the fight against periodontal disease must start at the community level.

“In Jamaica there is an oral health care crisis and we have to start in the community, it is the first place to start,” she told the Jamaica Observer West, adding that it was a good feeling to give back.

“It was a great feeling, this is my community, this is where I grew up and to be able to give back especially in a field that which I really care about and something that is really necessary,” Ambriel said.

“Oral health care is connected to a lot of other things in our bodies and I don't think that a lot of people realise this, so we have to take care of our mouth and ensure that we are brushing twice a day, flossing and keeping away periodontal disease so we can keep our teeth for as long as possible.”

Ambriel, who also has Trinidad and Tobago citizenship, said she has already decided that on completion of her studies she will be heading back to Jamaica to do business.

“I am definitely coming back to Jamaica as I don't see me living in the USA, I am an island girl, that's really it, it's my upbringing and that is what I love. It's a better quality of life over the USA, but it is just business and making money at all costs. I prefer to come back and do what I love, where I love and Jamaica is my home,” she argued.

Her father, who also attended Howard University, and who has been practising in Montego Bay for over 20 years, said oral care especially in the COVID-19 pandemic is even more crucial, stressing that “the mouth is the first site of digestion, so care of the teeth is important.”

“With so many families locked down during the pandemic, and the loss of income in some of the homes prompted us to help, and this is also a project that she [daughter] choose as a student in the College of Dentistry, and we want to make this an annual event moving forward,” the elder Weatherly told the Observer West.

A mother of two, who only identified herself as Shelly, expressed gratitude for the initiative.

“This was a surprise, I was not expecting it, but I am appreciative and my children learned some new things about how to brush properly,” she told the Observer West.

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