February is Oral Health Month

Healthy teeth will help to ensure “healthy smiles for a healthy future”.

That’s the message being relayed to students during February — Oral Health Month — which will see free screenings for schoolchildren.

The Oral Health Section of the Department of Health says it’s now taking preventive efforts to new heights.

Students applying to enter public primary and senior schools will receive as part of their school entry application a dental screening form.

According to the Department, the school entry examination is practised in many other jurisdictions and provides an opportunity for early diagnosis and intervention.

“This form can be completed at their private dental office or through the Oral Health Section of the Department of Health. Parents will receive an examination certificate to be returned to the school,” said the Department yesterday.

“During the month of February the section will be conducting Free Screening Express sessions at the various clinics. “The screening which takes three minutes per child does not require dental X-rays and will be provided by dentists who are used to putting children at ease.”

“Early Childhood Caries (decay) is a condition that results from frequent exposures to natural or refined sugars,” explained a Department press release.

“Children who have multiple daily sugar exposures are prone to develop this condition and young children may require extensive and expensive oral rehabilitation.

“This condition is most commonly seen in children who drink beverages, juice or milk from a bottle or sip cup throughout the day, or who go to sleep with a bottle at night.

“Similar increases in decay can be seen in older children and youth who sip on beverages throughout the day.

“The Oral Health Section promotes the international recommendation that children should have their first dental check-up at about one-year-old, or six months after the appearance of the first tooth.

“Additionally, it is recommended that growing children should have a check-up every six months.

“Early identification of problems and early intervention are essential to containing healthcare costs and to improving the overall health and quality of life of the population.

 

Read more: Royal Gazette

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