In a national address to launch the observation of Dental Health Week, Minister of Health, Marcella Liburd, indicated that unhealthy teeth are the major cause of morbidity among school children.
She said that the last survey among primary school children in St Kitts showed that the majority of schools had more than 50% of children with poor oral health.
Therefore the Dental Health Department is focusing its interventions for this week’s campaign on children and on developing good oral health habits at an early age; in order to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
“I am asking the parents and guardians to monitor the dietary habits of their children and limit the number of sugary snacks. Consider including more fruits, vegetables and water instead of sweet drinks. Additionally parents and guardians need to supervise children to ensure that teeth are brushed properly and regularly,” Liburd pleaded.
Throughout the week, a number of activities have been planned but the events started on Sunday 7th October 2012, with a church service, at the Beacon of Hope Church.
Members of the Dental Health staff will also be appearing on various radio programmes to discuss oral health issues and increase public awareness about the benefits of good oral hygiene practices.
They will be visiting primary schools to screen children for oral health problems, as well as to educate them and distribute dental health kits. They have asked for the support of the general public in the hosting of these activities.
The Minister of Health also expressed gratitude to RAMS Trading Ltd which has provided support to the oral health programme, through its Colgate-Palmolive Initiative, that supplies culturally sensitive informational leaflets and kits that are being distributed to school children. She also commended the members of the dental health team for organising this campaign and for their dedication to promoting the benefits of proper oral care.
The theme of this week’s observation is ‘Embracing Your Oral Health Responsibilities’