National Survey to Improve Children’s Oral Hygiene

SKNStudents-1Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The Dental Department in the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will be conducting an oral health survey during the month of November.

Chief Dental Officer Dr. Randy Liburd says the aim is to assess the oral health of children 6, 12 and 15 years old in order to plan for improved dental hygiene programmes.

“The examination is basically to check the decayed, missing or filled teeth in the children’s mouths,” says Dr. Liburd. “There’s also a second component, we actually check for debris. This will determine the amount of plaque on the child’s teeth so we can later give them oral hygiene instructions.”

Information collected from the survey is analyzed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for recommendations to improve on national dental programmes where necessary.

“What we hope to accomplish is that each child even before entering school can have a dental examination done so that we can determine how healthy their teeth are and take measures early on so that they won’t experience any dental issues in terms of pain, swelling or toothache,” said Dr. Liburd.

The survey begins on Monday, (November 10) and will include all public and private schools in the federation. Children will be selected at random, and parental consent will be solicited prior to examination.

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