We ought to ensure adequate deliverance of oral health education

20Mar 2018
The Guardian
We ought to ensure adequate deliverance of oral health education

WORLD Oral Health Day is observed annually on 20 March, and launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene so that governments,

health associations and the general public can work together to achieve healthier mouths and happier lives. Of the world's population, 90 per cent will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime, many avoidable. Organis ed by FDI World Dental Federation, World Oral Health Day involves campaigns by national dental associations from around the world with activities in over 130 countries.

World Oral Health Day was launched on 20 March 2013 by FDI World Dental Federation. The day also marks the launch of a year-long campaign to raise awareness of oral health and prevention of oral diseases. Since 2013 these campaigns have featured a specific theme.

Since 2014 and in collaboration with its daughter organisation, International Association of Dental Students (IADS), FDI organises an annual worldwide competition for best awareness and prophylactic activities held by dental student organisations in celebration of World Oral Health Day.

A good quality of life is possible if students maintain their oral health and become free of oral disease.

It is true that the majority of students in the country have an adequate level of knowledge on oral health but low level of oral health practices. Both genders have similar level of knowledge with male predominance in oral health practices. Age have no influence on the level of oral health knowledge and practices of students.

Oral health as an essential aspect of general health can be defined as a standard of health of the oral and related tissues which enables an individual to eat, speak, and socialise without active disease, discomfort or embarrassment and which contributes to general well-being. Oral health knowledge is considered to be an essential prerequisite for health-related practices and studies have shown that there is an association between increased knowledge and better oral health. Those who have assimilated the knowledge and feel a sense of personal control over their oral health are more likely to adopt self-care practices.

The Policy guidelines for Oral Health Care in Tanzania (2002) aim at improving the oral health of Tanzanians with focus on those most at risk by sensitising communities on preventable oral health problems. Part of the essential package of oral health care in Tanzania includes prevention of oral diseases through provision of oral health education in primary schools, at the reproductive and child health clinics (RCH), and the general public.

health education has been part of the primary school curriculum in Tanzania since 1982 and implemented by teachers at primary schools; however, the oral health education sessions addressed oral hygiene by lectures. Pupils ought to actively study the concepts and practical skills for dietary choices and tooth brushing. The district local governments have a basket fund that can be used to promote oral health education programmes among the priority groups like RCH clinics and the community as a whole including secondary school students. It is the responsibility of the dental personnel at regional, district, and health centres to ensure adequate deliverance of oral health education.