The journey of Dr Andrew Marriott’s patient 15-year-old Megan Malloch in Nelson

as reported on Campbell Live on Thursday 9th April 2015 and viewable here 

and earlier in the year on March 25th

Corban Dickson of Invercargill's treatment with Dr Kieran O'Neill

 viewable here and on Monday 16th February

Asena Valoa of Auckland's treatment with Dr Prashant Zaveri

viewable here

Trust gives Jackson a reason to smile 

Awesome story in the Nelson Mail about a new recipient, Jackson Shatford-Banks from Nelson.
HELP AT HAND: Jackson Shatford-Banks with Dr Andrew Marriott, left, of Nelson Orthodontics, and parents Brent and Beryl.
Jackson Shatford-Banks is about to receive life-changing orthodontic treatment, but he is more excited about the chance to support the Wanderers by wearing the rugby team's colours on his teeth.
The Waimea Intermediate student, who is 12, plans to get elastics in blue and gold to fit his new braces when Nelson orthodontist Andrew Marriott installs them next month. He is receiving the work at a significantly reduced cost thanks to the Wish for a Smile Trust, which is administered by the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists.
The trust takes care of young New Zealanders who have very crooked teeth or a particularly bad bite but cannot afford orthodontic treatment. In return, the children must complete 20 hours volunteer work in their local community.

Jackson has recently finished his volunteering at the Nelson SPCA, where he vacuumed, cleaned cages and got "a little bit" of cuddle time with the animals.

Dr Marriott said Jackson had a severe open bite, which meant his front teeth did not bite over the bottom row. This made it difficult for him to eat, and also affected his speech. In addition to this, Jackson's teeth were crowded and crooked, and he had an "overjet" where his front teeth protruded.

Dr Marriott was unable to say how rare Jackson's situation was, but said he had a combination of three "major" issues. He wanted to treat the boy because his teeth had caused both physical and social difficulties. "We'll get his teeth nice and straight, they'll be back in his face."

He said he was keen to get the word out about the Wish for a Smile Trust as it had approved more than half of the applications received so far. It was established in 2011.

Jackson said he had been bullied at primary school because of his appearance, but felt more secure in intermediate after learning better coping skills.

"Now when people bully me I just ignore it."

He said he had not often thought about how life would be after his teeth were straightened, but imagined it would be much the same, "just with better teeth". He was comfortable in the orthodontist's office, investigating the adjustable chair and the pairs of false teeth on the shelf.

"I just don't think about it, and get it done."

His father, Brent Shatford-Banks, said Jackson had been self-conscious about his teeth as a child before growing out of his anxiety. He said Jackson had once stood up in church to pray for them to be fixed. "There's no way me and [Jackson's mother] Beryl could have afforded it, we'd have to sell the house."

Mrs Shatford-Banks said she felt "helpless" to do anything about Jackson's teeth before hearing about Wish for a Smile, and was thrilled he had the chance to receive specialist treatment.

He is undergoing ACC-funded root canal work to fix "non-vital" teeth which suffered nerve damage after a skateboarding accident, and faces about two years of orthodontic work once this is complete. An operation on his jaw may also be necessary after his "adult jaw" comes in at 16 years of age.

Jackson said he was pleased to hear he would not have to stop playing rugby during the two years he would receive orthodontic treatment. "It's fine, they're just giving me a special mouthguard."

Those who are interested in applying for dental assistance should speak to their dentist or orthodontist, or see

Sarah Dunn, 19 August 2013 © Fairfax NZ News

Tylah Elliott is on her way to a brand new smile, thanks to the Wish For a Smile Trust

The 12-year-old Gisborne girl has received heavily-subsidised braces from the trust, which provides orthodontic treatment to children in need around New Zealand.

In order to qualify for the programme, a child must have a severe orthodontic problem, significant family financial hardship and a genuine commitment to do all that is required to complete successful orthodontic treatment. Tylah's mother says that her badly protruding teeth made her the target of bullying.

"She got teased quite badly at school but I just wasn't in a position to get her braces anytime soon," says her mum Michelle Elliott. "We are so happy and appreciative. We feel very lucky to be involved with the trust." The braces have been on for eight months and already Tylah is noticing a huge difference, both in her appearance and at school. Her teeth are looking better and among the many other 12-year-olds at school with braces, she no longer feels like she stands out. "Most of my friends have them as well," she says.

There is some cost involved with the programme, a $10 payment every week for 80 weeks, but this $800 pales in comparison to the $7500 the treatment would have cost. "It just would have been completely out of my reach money-wise," said Ms Elliott.

To qualify, the child must also participate in 20 hours of community service. For this, animal-loving Tylah has chosen to work at the SPCA, cleaning out the cages and walking the dogs with her mother. "I am really enjoying helping at the SPCA and giving back to the community," said Tylah. "It has been good mother- daughter time," says Ms Elliott.

The trust relies on the support of orthodontists around the country, who donate their equipment, materials, expertise and time. In Gisborne the participating orthodontist is Katherine Thompson of KT Orthodontics, to whom Tylah and her mother say they are incredibly grateful.

Tylah is the first Gisborne youth to receive orthodontic treatment from the trust. Applications are now open for the programme, and the trust is hoping for more applicants from the Gisborne region. Hear Tylah via this Youtube Clip filmed and edited by Ben Cowper here

Published August 16th, 2013 - The Gisborne Herald  

Straighter smile dividend from grant

tdn flyn stand

Great story from the Taranaki Daily News about one of the latest Trust recipients. Welcome, Flynn Bell!
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. 

Taryn Utiger, 6 August 2013 

Giving children a reason to smile

The latest update from Kate King and the Campbell Live team.
We share the stories of Rene Harvey and Jackson Shatford-Banks who both live in Nelson and will soon have fabulous new smiles to share with their family and friends. 

More and more orthodontists are signing up to be part of the Wish for a Smile charity, working for free with children whose bad teeth are ruining their lives. 

The charity is funded partly by you - money you donated for Evan Hill and his sister Katie was more than enough to fix their teeth, so with their permission, the rest was invested to help other kids smile. 

We would like to say thank you for helping us to help them, and we thought the best way to do that was show you the latest kids to be signed up.

Kate King 3 News Reporter

by  Wed, 17 Jul 2013 7:00pm

Read more  

April 2013 The Wish For A Smile Trust has gone global, with a front page article in the latest World Federation of Orthodontists Gazette


Monday 15 October 2012 TV3, Campbell Live - "Trust launched for children with life-ruining teeth" 

Trust turns tooth fairy to restore children's smiles

Peter Fowler

Peter Fowler talks Wish for a Smile with Jim Mora on Radio New Zealand  

Orthodontists are channelling the tooth fairy and giving away free braces to teens in need. But there's a catch - they'll have to volunteer in their community in exchange for a beautiful straight smile. 

From today, young people aged between 11 and 18 who cannot afford dental treatment can apply to the Wish for a Smile Trust to fix severe dental problems.

Two Wellington orthodontists are taking part in the scheme, in which 45 young people will start treatment nationwide in the next few months in exchange for 20 hours' voluntary work, trustee and Christchurch orthodontist Peter Fowler says. "Patients may walk dogs, read to the blind, or help out at the local Salvation Army shelter."

Their families will also have to pay $10 a week for 80 weeks if they can afford to. "Uncles, grandmas or whoever, just so there's some buy-in. To get a successful result you need the patient's commitment over that two-year period. It's not like going to the dentist to get a filling."

It took two years on average to treat someone, costing between $4000 and $7000 depending on where they were in the country and the severity of problems, Dr Fowler said.

More than 40 orthodontists had come on board for the scheme, including specialists in Palmerston North, Hawke's Bay, Whanganui and Gisborne. They will receive a small amount of funding from the trust, but most of the work will be done pro bono.

Three young people from the North Shore had already started treatment under a pilot scheme, including Amber Shaw, 13, who has been gardening at her church for her volunteer work. Not eating chewy lollies or drinking fizzy drinks was a fair tradeoff for ensuring she didn't lose her front teeth later in life, she said.

Earlier this year, Orthodontist Karen Brook began treating Amber, whose eye teeth are lying horizontally and pushing on the roots of her upper front teeth. Dr Brook said the treatment would take at least two years and cost about $9000 all up. Amber's mum, Suzanne Law, paid for some procedures, but without the scheme she would not have been able to afford the braces. "I think it's a great scheme to help out parents on low incomes . . . I am very grateful," she said.

Wellington orthodontist Matt Barker will be taking on patients, as he believes braces can change lives. "We get some people who come in who won't talk in public, who won't smile in public and they put their hand over their mouth when they do talk and at the end of treatment there's a big difference."

Dr Fowler said the benefits of braces went beyond a pretty smile, as poor teeth and jaw structure had a "massive effect" on the physical and psychological development of children and teens. "It's about form, function and improved dental hygiene. "A great smile and improved self-esteem is often a very positive byproduct." 

Tuesday 16 October 2012 Dominion Post article "Trust turns tooth fairy to restore children's smiles" by Bronwyn Torrie, Health Reporter  

Trust to restore children's smiles


Amber Shaw

Those unable to afford orthodontic treatment may yet be able to smile thanks to a new initiative being launched today. 

The Wish for a Smile Trust, run by the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists, is set to make specialist orthodontic treatment available to young people whose parents are unable to afford specialist care.

It's an initiative Hamilton orthodontist Mark Ewing said had been needed for some time and was never going to come from the Government, beyond what they already funded. Orthodontic work was often seen as an elective treatment, Mr Ewing said.

"But there's no question that there are people that have extremely disfiguring malocclusions which result in them being stigmatised and teased at school."

Getting that fixed could do wonders for a child's self-esteem. "It's really amazing. You get that every week with kids when they get their braces off - the change to their self-esteem is enormous."

Applications to the Wish for a Smile Trust are open for children aged between 11 and 18. But successful candidates will have to give back. "A key factor for treatment is the willingness of the patient to undertake 20 hours of approved voluntary work," trustee, founder and Christchurch orthodontist Dr Peter Fowler said.

They must, for example, walk someone's dog, read to the blind or help out at the local Salvation Army shelter. "This gives the young person being treated the opportunity to give back in some way to the community. The trust depends on sponsorship and charitable donations to cover the cost of treatment and we're happy to foster that partnership between community and patient."

Nicola Brennan-Tupara 

Wish for a smile

Great mention from Ele Ludemann on the blog 

A few weeks ago friend who is an orthodontist spoke to me about a trust her profession was planning to set up to help children whose families can’t afford treatment. It sounded like a good idea but like many good ideas needed a lot of work to make it work. 

That work has now been done and the Wish for a Smile Trust was launched last night. The Wish for a Smile Trust is a public health initiative of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists. The trust aims to make specialist orthodontic treatment available to young New Zealanders who would otherwise be unable to access orthodontic care.  

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

This isn’t cosmetic surgery for the vain, it’s orthodontic treatment for young people with serious dental problems. 

Volunteering earns teeth-straightening


Winifred Harding

Providing young people with orthodontic treatment in exchange for volunteer work is a "superb" idea, says a Dunedin orthodontist who has agreed to provide services for the initiative.

Launched last week by the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists, the Wish for a Smile Trust will take applications from children aged from 11 to 18.

The initiative is aimed at children from families which cannot afford to pay; a modest weekly contribution was expected from them, however.

The young people would be expected to undertake 20 hours of community work.
Dr Winifred Harding, of Dunedin, said no public funding was available for orthodontic treatment and most members of the profession had provided free or low-cost treatment at their discretion.

She liked the fact the young person receiving treatment would contribute to the community as part of the programme. This would help them appreciate the value of what they were receiving in return.

Dr Harding said while orthodontic problems were not a matter of "life and death", orthodontic treatment could greatly affect a child's self-esteem.

Dr Harding expected it would be six months or so before she treated a patient under the scheme, partly because it was near the end of the year.

Monday 22 October 2012, Otago Times 

Do you live in the Manawatu? The Smiling Straight Trust also covers that area and welcomes your application.