Eindhoven’s homeless were given the chance to have their teeth checked on Tuesday. An initiative of shelter organisation Springplank040 with the aim of combating inequality in oral care.
Every homeless person was given the chance to have his or her teeth checked in the morning on Bellefroidlaan, but no real treatment was provided. “Indeed, no molars are pulled yet, it’s really about a check-up. The dentist looks at the state of someone’s teeth and what treatments are recommended. You should see it as a kind of screening”, Thijs Eradus of Springplank040 explains.
In addition to the check-up, a letter of intent is signed by CDC Complete Tandzorg (complete dental care), Springplank (jump board) and Dokters van de Wereld (doctors of the world) through which 35 vulnerable people from Eindhoven will be offered basic oral care for a year. “Homeless people cannot afford oral care and therefore it would be good if oral care returned to the basic health insurance package. That is not only better for the people we help, but also socially cheaper and above all healthier”, Eradus explains.
Ex-homeless Ron Vogels is pleased with the initiative. In 2015, he was homeless and struggling with neglected teeth. “I also noticed at the time that my teeth were getting worse, but I had nowhere to go. I had no money for treatment. So I just kept walking around with it”.
In fact, the fear of going to the dentist was so great that he delayed treatment for a long time. “I was extremely embarrassed. What would they think, because I hadn’t been to the dentist in over ten years. My teeth have been completely fixed up and it has done so much for me. I dare to smile again, am more confident, healthier and much happier!”
Translated by: Bob