Saturday, May 21, 2016

Our last day at the Primaria School.

The visits to the schools are always a highlight. The children are so attentive and so wanting to learn. They also remember much of the presentation from year to year as they are able to answer the presenters' questions on oral health. Over the last 9 years, we have noticed a discernable decrease in caries rate, but sadly, although we are not able to confirm the data, there appears to be an increase in the number of children with dental caries this year. Can it be attributed to the gap in field school visit in 2014? It is difficult to say but we know that increased awareness and motivation goes hand in hand.  Important to note also that there is no water fluoridation in San Pancho. We make great effort in instilling the value of oral health to caregivers here so they may continue to pass it on when we leave.

Our method in screening for decay parallels what public dental hygienists do in BC, Canada. We used tongue depressors to examine the mouth and good light to determine obvious cases of enamel breakdown. We note only the number of children who exhibit these lesions and not the number of teeth, albeit in one classroom, Tika noted 92 teeth with carious lesions. Very disheartening but left us feeling even more determined to do what we have to do to change those numbers. Proper nutrition and home care is discussed and demonstrated. After each screening, students were given fluoride application.

Here are our statistics.
Kindergarten:  46 children - 25 exhibited carious lesions - 54%
Primaria School:  204 children - 136 exhibited carious lesions - 66%

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