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Oral health status and traditions in the Philippines.

Gamboa VT.

With an annual population growth of 2.71 per cent per year the government is harnessing all available resources so that every Filipino can enjoy a decent way of life. Since the majority of the population is in the rural areas, priority health services are directed towards this particular segment. Because of meagre income among the rural population all health services are given free, except for major operations, medicines and dental procedures such as the construction of partial and full dentures, porcelain restorations, root canal therapy and major oral surgery. Older people in the rural areas still adhere to their beliefs and traditions to alleviate the pain of toothache, particularly in the areas which cannot be reached by dentists. Because their fees are minimal the services of quack doctors/dentists and faith healers are still sought. In the Philippines, although dental health services have been given a low priority by the government, preventive dental health programmes are being implemented throughout the country. These include mouthrinsing with sodium fluoride solutions, supervised toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and the use of fluoride-containing varnish and fluoride tablets. Water fluoridation exists in two pilot areas and there is an intensive dental health education campaign. Indigenous health workers augment the inadequate dental manpower in attempting to attain and maintain the global indicator for oral health, which is 3 DMFT on average for age 12 years old.

2013 Colgate-Palmolive Company. In the Philippines, Colgate undertook the Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Program as its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility Program. It has partnered with the Department of Education and the Philippine Dental Association to implement oral health projects and activities to benefit Filipino children all over the nation.

For more than 10 years, Colgate, Department of Education and various volunteer dentists from the Philippine Dental Association worked to provide public school children:

oral health education and awareness, and oral health services

Oral health education and awareness includes:

Development of oral health lessons and materials and integration in the curriculum. Provision of oral health materials such as posters, flipcharts, teacher?s guide, worksheets and brochures to public school children.

Conduct of exciting events such as the Dr. Rabbit School Tour, Poster Making Contests, Carton Creation Contest, exciting tooth brushing drills and campaign nationwide.

Involvement of media to amplify oral health campaign to reach more people nationwide.

Beyond, our commitment to oral health education and advocacy, we have also conducted oral health services to public school children and their community. Programs such as the BSBF Dental Service Initiative by volunteer dentists and the Kabarangay sa Dental Health ? Oral Health Month Program of Colgate provides dental check ups and services and oral health lectures to Filipinos nationwide.

To date, the program has benefited close to 10 million children nationwide.

An Emphasis On Oral Hygiene

Published on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 08:39 Written by Eugene Y. Santos

The Philippines is a nation that still needs further education when it comes to dental health care. As far as Metro Dental is concerned, one advantage of being mall-based is being able to educate more consumers on dental health. We want to educate people to not just go to the dentist when they have pain, says Dr. Concepcion.

These days, more Filipinos are becoming more aware of how to take care of their teeth. We noticed that nowadays, there are less extraction cases compared (to years) before, says Dr. Concepcion. Most parents dont want their kids to end up having their teeth extracted, so they bring them to the dentist more often. As Dr. Concepcion reveals, they actually have kid patients who just visit their clinics to watch a movie or so sometimesno need to undergo any treatments. Its alright, as this measure helps a child adjust his/her mindset and lessen the fear of dentists.

The oral health of Filipino children is in an alarming state'

2009 by Daniel Zimmermann The oral-health status of children in the Philippines is in an alarming state, and this is true for other countries in Asia as well. In the Philippines, caries amongst public school children remains completely untreated, leading to unnecessary pain and intra-oral infections. The National Oral Health Survey revealed that six-year-old children had on average nine decayed teeth in their mouth with 40 per cent of these teeth presenting caries with pulp involvement.

Twenty per cent of six-year-old children also reported toothache during the time of the survey and the condition is the main reason for school absenteeism in the Philippines. We have developed an index to measure the consequences of untreated cariesthe PUFA indexwhich will be presented during the World Congress on Preventive Dentistry in Thailand.

During the last decades, the Department of Education has run health-education programmes promoting a healthy diet and daily tooth-brushing and giving advice to visit the dentist twice a year. However, despite these efforts, children are eating junk food, not brushing their teeth and not visiting dentists. And how can children do so, if regular tooth-brushing is not a habit in family life, if toothbrushes and toothpaste are not available, and if there is no money to go to the dentist, even if children have toothache? Schools are the most effective places to introduce change, as children spend the majority of their day with their classmates and the teacher. Children are the best messengers for introducing behaviour change into family life.