Brush it every day! Oral Health Month kicks off in Bartica

3 days of oral health dental outreaches in Reg. 7

― more dental equipment for Reg. 7 for 2020

DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 1, 2019

Want to ensure that your unique smile is protected from cavities and extractions? Then practising good oral hygiene is the way to go. November is Oral Health Month; an entire 30 days dedicated toward promoting proper dental care.

Launched under the theme ‘Improving Oral Health through Prevention and Education’, the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with Colgate-Palmolive, kickstarted the awareness month in Bartica on Friday.

The day began with hundreds of students accompanied by teachers and healthcare workers marching out from the Bartica Hospital, sporting bright smiles and colourful balloons as they chanted in support for good oral health practices.

Defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “a state of being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing,” oral health is a topical issue throughout the world.

With the Oral Health March culminated at the community centre, the second part of the day’s activities began. Delivering the keynote address for the launching ceremony was Region 7’s Regional Chairman, Gordon Bradford who commended the Public Health Ministry for choosing Bartica as the place for the launch.

Bradford said the services are needed in Bartica and that he is pleased that children in the region will benefit. While the Regional Chairman acknowledged the importance of the preceding awareness walk, a call was made for those present to take, “necessary action to correct this situation [poor dental health]”.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS) within the Public Health Ministry, Glendon Fogenay emphasised the Government’s commitment towards enhancing the oral health of the nation. According to the DPS, Budget 2019 is reflective of that pledge to Guyanese.

DPS Fogenay outlined the current budget had made possible, “the procurement of Dental Units, Surgical High and Low-Speed Hand Pieces, ultra-sonic scalers” among other equipment. It was noted that continuous maintenance towards the dental equipment and its facilities, in addition to training of new dental personnel and an upgrade to training for staff, have all been some of the major takeaways from Budget 2019.

As such, with 2020 on the horizon, the DPS announced plans to purchase more dental equipment as the Ministry aggressively pushes towards improving dental care. For Region 7, some of these pieces of machinery will include portable dental chairs, high and low-speed handpieces and ultrasonic scalers with tips.

It was the Manager of the National Dental Centre, Paul Clarke, who further encouraged the students to care for their teeth and gums. While the Manager underscored the severity of poor oral health that may be linked to diabetes, heart disease, and other long-term health issues, students were motivated to adopt positive oral health habits at their young age instead.

For 2020, the Manager unveiled plans to utilise, “printable patient materials on a variety of topics such as Oral Health Instrumental Videos, developed specifically for children.”

Over the following three days, the Public Health Ministry and their sponsor Colgate-Palmolive will be present in the remote villages of Region 7 as they conduct dental screenings, examinations, fillings, cleaning and provide sound education on oral health.

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