THE 16 finalists for the Miss South Africa 2019 pageant were announced yesterday. The winner will be crowned on Women’s Day (August 9). Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha / African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - American actress Mae West once famously said: “Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.”

Some may argue that love possibly could conquer poverty but few would agree that any amount of love could conquer toothache.

But with a practice logo which reads “Creating Smiles Changing Lives” the doctors at Cahi Dental practice in Sandton would certainly like to try.

Every year the prosthodontic practice, which is owned and run by three Dr Cahis - brothers Norman and Emile Cahi and Chelsea Cahi, who is Norman’s daughter - adopt a home or orphanage and provide its children with free dental care.

The children and their carers are invited to a party at Cahi Dental where they have their first dental experience.

“We are passionate about treating the person, not merely a tooth,” said Dr Norman Cahi, who was one of the pioneers in teeth whitening in SA and a practising aesthetic dentist since 1998.

“We are acutely aware of the privileges we have in terms of our education, skill and experience and so we firmly believe in giving back ‘or paying forward’.”

The doctors are involved with numerous charitable foundations and trusts including The Dental Wellness Trust, The Smile Train (for kids and adults with clefts), The Nashua Children’s Charity Foundation and “Pay Your Bills” by the Quinton Van Der Burgh Foundation.

“We feel it’s vital to use our God-given skill and talent to help the most vulnerable in our society - children without parents, those in protective custody and children from impoverished communities.”

Not settling for a boring visit to the dentist, the doctors have added a “motherly touch and a glamorous effect” and invited the top 16 Miss SA finalists (who they officially sponsor) to comfort the children in the dreaded dentist’s chair.

“The gorgeous beauties add colour to these kids’ day and the kids leave with full tummies and gift bags and most importantly can’t wait to visit the dentist again. Mission accomplished for me.

“Most of these children do not even own their own toothbrushes. Some ‘lucky’ ones get to share a communal one. They do not have any awareness of the vital importance oral care is and how basic daily dental care (tooth brushing) and diet impacts not only on their dental health but their general health for life,” he said.

On Monday 50 children from a Joburg orphanage will greet the recently selected Miss SA finalists at Atholl Square for special photos with the beauty queens. Later they will be accompanied into dental surgery for their dental assessments at the Cahi practice.

“All the kids will be seen by one of our three dentists and our amazing oral hygienist Kady Naidoo.

“Then the kids will be given lunch by Tashas and enjoy a huge party with magic, dancing, laughing and leave with gifts and food for supper.

“Should any of the kids need further dental treatment, they will be brought back during the year again and treated free of charge, and receive the highest standard of care in dentistry today.”

The Saturday Star