Philippines: A tooth brush a day keeps tooth decay at bay

Like many developing countries, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the Philippines is  tooth decay, simply because awareness of dental hygiene is not taught to the nation’s children.

Amongst elementary school students participating in a Rise Above Foundation program in Cebu, the simple act of thoroughly brushing teeth once a day effectively improves tooth decay and deterioration by 50%. (If twice daily brushing could be instituted, statistics show that it would cut tooth decay significantly by a further 20%. The challenge here is the fact that the follow-up element, brushing after a second meal, would need to be conducted at the children’s homes.)

In this program, toothbrushes are kept at the school so that this practice of daily brushing can be overseen and monitored during recess. Whereas if the toothbrushes were to be returned home with the child, since the parents also have no dental hygiene background, the practice would soon be lost. The goal here is to eventually build a habit so that the kids at school learn to brush their teeth as they grow up.

As a result of this basic approach, children can focus on their schoolwork, instead of the pain caused by dental issues. Read more

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