By David Ingham
A new UAE-wide oral health campaign aims to prevent dental caries (cavities) among children between the ages of 3-5.
The first phase of a UAE-wide oral health campaign aiming to prevent dental caries (dental cavities) among children between the ages of 3-5 is set to roll out in November. The campaign, ‘My Dentist Says’, has been developed in response to a recent study conducted and published by the Ministry of Health.
Results of the survey showed that the majority of five year olds in the UAE experienced dental caries in their primary dentition.
Oral-B is on board with the campaign and is rolling out the first phase in 30 schools across the country, aiming at reaching more than 6,000 children and their parents. This first phase is an educational programme that encourages healthy oral hygiene habits and aims to prevent dental caries before they develop.
“Oral-B is committed to improving oral care, for life, in the communities in which it operates,” said Ranu Kawatra, regional business director, Oral-B Middle East and Africa. “In practical terms, this means a close collaboration with both private and public sectors, as well as the dental profession, to prevent oral disease, through education, financial support and provision of products.”
Earlier this year, the UAE Ministry of Health and Oral-B announced a collaboration agreement whereby Oral-B will support various community projects across the country, as part of the UAE National Oral Care Preventative Programme.
“To complement our efforts with the Ministry, we have built a programme that targets children in private schools,” Kawatra explained. “By going into these schools and initiating a direct educational as well as fun program with children, we hope we can achieve an enough level of awareness and initiate the start of healthy oral habits with these children.”
The ‘My Dentist Says’ campaign is provided to schools free of charge. It is designed to pro-actively educate children in private schools on the importance of oral hygiene and teach them good oral health habits for life. The programme will not only enhance children’s awareness of healthy habits, but also will reach their parents and encourage them to pro-actively maintain their children’s oral health, supervising daily brushing habits and regular dentist visits.
Dr. Michael Formenius, a leading UAE dentist will be taking the campaign, which consists of interactive games, to the schools.
“I have been working closely with Oral-B to develop a fun and easy way of teaching proper oral care methods that aim to demonstrate to both children and parents the effectiveness of a preventive approach. I look forward to starting this programme and evaluating its results,” said Dr Formenius.
“We will teach children how to brush properly; however, it is essential to make sure this becomes a daily habit. Therefore, we have built into the programme a parental element that will encourage parents to control and guide their children on a daily basis. The result will be the basis of our evaluation three months after our first visit to any school.”