Brazil’s Ministry of Health’s Buccal Health program, which now has a total of 10,240 dental care teams, is treating the teeth of no less than 60 million Brazilians.
That is up from 15 million in 2003, when the program had 3,500 dental care teams in the field, reports the program coordinator, Gilberto Pucca.
Each team consists of a dentist, a dental assistant and a buccal hygienist. The program operates within the framework of Brazil’s unified public health system (SUS, Sistema íšnico de Saúde).
Pucca says that beginning in the second half of this year the Brazil Smiles program will distribute kits with toothbrushes and toothpaste to low-income families.
Around 30% of those in the program with receive the kits (which works out to some 18 million people).
A 2003 survey by the Ministry of Health found that 45% of the Brazilian population do not have toothbrushes or toothpaste.