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Staff and students of the Department of Periodontics, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences (KLE VKIDS), examining patients at a dental camp on Oral Hygiene Day, organised in association with the National Service Scheme (NSS) in Belagavi, Karnartaka, India. (Photograph KLEVKIDS)
1 Comment Aug 1, 2017 | News India

Spreading the message of the importance of good oral hygiene on 'Oral Hygiene Day'

Post a comment by DT SEA, Niranjan Prabhakar

The Oral hygiene day celebrated every year on the 1st of August, was introduced to commemorate the birth anniversary of the doyen of Indian Periodontics and founder of the Indian Society of Periodontology (ISP), Dr G B Shankwalkar. 

Every year, various associations in the country such as the Indian Society of Periodontology (ISP), the Indian Dental Association (IDA) and its state branches, private organisations, Rotary Club and dental colleges across the country celebrate the Oral hygiene day on 1 August.

Through the Oral Hygiene day, the Dental fraternity in the country aims to spread the message of oral hygiene and its Importance.

Oral health neglect has been a worrisome trend with illiteracy, poverty and lack of awareness having contributed to most of the oral disease prevalence in the country today.

DT SEA spoke to a few experts to get their views on the subject.

"Like all other habits. good oral hygiene practices need to be inculcated in childhood to be assimilated as a habit for life. And that is where the problem lies." says Prof. Dr.Latha Anandakrishna who is the Associate Dean of Faculty of Dental Sciences at Ramiah Univerisity of Applied Sciences, Bangalore.

Based on her vast experience in counselling children and parents alike, Dr.Latha adds, " The awareness among parents regarding good oral hygiene practices like night time brushing is practically non-existent. The delay in initiation of brushing leading to early childhood caries is very common."

"The responsibility of initiating oral hygiene practices in children primarily rests on the parents and the dental surgeons. Training pre-school teachers to be messengers of good oral hygiene practices can be effective as well " she observes.

Sharing some facts, targets and guidelines, Dr.Rajeev Chitguppi, Director of Perioindia said, "The World Health Organization (WHO) has observed that although many developed countries have recently shown significant improvements in oral health, the South-East Asian countries like India have not shown similar changes. It is here that the oral diseases continue to remain expensive diseases (fourth most expensive disease entity currently) to treat. One of the reasons is that the interventions are mainly restorative, while the preventive care seems neglected."

Quoting some facts, he adds, "Dental caries remains the most prevalent oral disease and oropharyngeal cancer, the eighth most common cancer worldwide. The WHO in its latest strategy has placed emphasis on oral disease prevention & oral health promotion for the South-East Asia region. In the document, the WHO has defined targets aiming at 25% relative reduction in oropharyngeal cancer deaths and caries by the year 2025. We need to develop effective and sustainable partnerships, collaborations, & community involvement if we want to achieve these targets."

The key to good oral hygiene lies in continued and sustainable efforts to initiate good practices and raise public awareness whiuch is achievable through active community involvement programmes.

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1 Comment
  • Dr. Dilip G Pol Aug 9, 2017 | 3:03:58 PM

    Very nice to read this article on Oral hygiene day. Congratulations to KLE Belgaum for celebration of the same. Views by Dr. Rajiv chitguppi are excellent in this article. Brief history of oral hygiene day should have been added. Good spreading massage. Congratulations to all .

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