Monday, June 03, 2002
“Rosy lips, teeth within” will not just remain a nursery rhyme for school students anymore. Thanks to a full-fledged clinic at J. D. Tytler School here — probably the first in the entire country as part of a school-based preventive dental health education programme — students will have enough reason to flash their teeth with pride.
To turn children into their own personal dentist is the avowed mission of this Centre, which has been functioning for the past two years. Besides a thorough dental check-up of school children from Class I to XII, they are also being introduced to top class dental health care through an intensive preventive and educational programme in phases.
“Dental diseases in children and the resultant abnormalities that occur when they grow up can be prevented by education and treatment beginning at an early age,” says Col (Mrs) Ganga Chandola, who took premature retirement from the Army to set up the centre after she was invited to do so by the principal of this Rajender Nagar-based school, Jennifer Tytler.
Equipped with the most modern equipment, the centre has been trying to promote the concept of preventive dental health care among students. “The aim has been to educate children on dental care and inspire them to take preventive steps so that they can take elementary care of their teeth,” informs Col. Chandola.
In the academic session beginning April 2000 to March 2001, a thorough dental check-up of 3,437 students was carried out in batches of 10-15 each. Children were given information on common dental diseases and their prevention by correct brushing, avoiding tobacco and chocolates and the use of flourides. During the mid-term and final year examinations, they were also put through an objective test for ascertaining their knowledge on dentistry.
Last year, parent’s counselling was started in the school and a fortnightly flouride rinse programme was also held. Meanwhile, common dental procedures are being carried out on students in the full-fledged school clinic after obtaining the consent of the parents.
“While stress is laid on changing children’s oral hygiene habits and attitudes towards dental health, we have even performed a few operations here,” says Col. Chandola.
To encourage children to maintain their dental health, merit certificates and other gifts are given to the best students of Dental Health Education. “This model of preventive dental health education is now being adopted by other schools in the vicinity,” she adds.
A book, “Become Your Own Dentist” written by Mrs. Chandola is being given to children for more knowledge.