Srinagar: A two-day dental health camp- Bright Smiles, Bright Future (BSBF) – by India’s oral care company Colgate, was organised in the school here on Wednesday.
BSBF is a global flagship initiative program involving volunteer committed dental professionals delivering oral health education with an aim to spread awareness among children about the correct oral health habits, basic hygiene and diet.
The program has so far, through long-standing partnerships with governments, schools and communities, reached more than 900 million children and their families across 80 countries with free dental screenings and oral health education.
In India alone the program has so far touched the lives of 145 plus million school children between the age of 6 – 14 years across two million schools in urban and rural India till last year.
In a spacious hall at Kashmir Harvard School here at Habak, Naseem Bagh, in outskirts of the city, little kids are excitingly waiting for their turn while they are being lined up by their teachers to be screened by the dental professionals for a check-up. In Kashmir the program has been initiated for the first time by team of three dental graduates – Dr. Sheikh Shahid, Dr. Amaar Ali and Dr. Afra Naqash, all hailing from the valley who have interned from Dental College Srinagar.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, Dr. Shahid said that it is for the first time that the program has been initiated in Kashmir and starting with Srinagar they are planning to cover many more schools both in urban and rural areas.
“In this program children between the age group of 6 to 14 years, studying in primary schools, are taught good oral hygiene habits, the right techniques of brushing with the use of a tooth model and a toothbrush, the importance of night brushing through an interactive module where the importance of a good mouth cleaning regimen is strongly instilled in them,” Shahid said.
At the end of the program, each child is given a dental health pack consisting of a toothpaste and a basic toothbrush, along with attractive charts depicting valuable oral care information in order to encourage these children to brush twice a day and take care of their oral care hygiene.
A chart containing the oral care information and pictorial details of a tooth’s anatomy, stages of decay, and the causes of gum diseases to help them advocate the importance of healthy teeth is also provided as a reminder to them, and for the teachers to reiterate the oral care message.
“After the check-up each student is given a diagnostic card with the solution to each problem to avoid untimely extraction of baby teeth. We try to identify the problems in their early stage and to stop them from growing,” Shahid said.
The school authorities termed the program as a positive step and said that these types of programs are important for the overall development of the children.
“These programs are very helpful since awareness regarding the oral health is instilled in a child at an early stage. This avoids the problems which arise due to the lack of knowledge in the children,” said Rohila Hamdani, who teaches at the school. “Every kid should be taught at an early stage how to brush his teeth and other things to maintain a proper hygiene of the mouth. With this program we hope that they get the proper expertise regarding oral healthcare.”