Poor Dental Hygiene: A Community Problem
A problem expressed by the people of New Barili, Tampilisan, ZDN was a concern regarding the presence of dental carries or tooth decay especially on their young kids. To be honest, the actual problem of tooth decay was not identified on the 8 -day survey conducted but rather we saw a poor seeking behavior in terms of dental care and poor utilization on the dental services by the Rural health unit.
Luckily one person opened up the concern during the Focus Group Discussion done at the Community Assembly. She was hesitant at first when she opened the topic, but she actually felt better when more people were agreeing, they also saw the problem and related it to their own family and then they realized the need for the problem to be solved. The good thing is, there are actually programs and services by the government health division headed by the Municipal Health Officer, our very own Dra. MaitaLadeza and the Municipal Dentist that could actually make the solutions within reach and other NGOs willing to give a helping hand. All we have to do is the bridge the gap between the people of New Barili to the services offered by the Rural Health Unit or other NGOs. Our strategies for this would be just open the doors for them, but it is actually them who will take advantage of the services, and have better and productive life. Emphasis on teaching the correct principles of hygiene should begin at as early an age as possible. Children will follow the example set to them by their parents or care takers, so adults should lead by example.
But why is there a need for proper dental hygiene? Everybody needs this, not just the young one but EVERYBODY. Oral health means more than just an attractive smile. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. And in many cases, the condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the body as a whole. We god inspired from what the Municipal Dentist told us regarding the dental issues of New Barili and in Tampilisan in general. She said that people underestimate the significance dental problems. Yes people did brush their teeth at least 2 times a day, but is it the correct way of brushing? And when toothaches happen, do they consult the dentist? NO, people just tolerate the pain or end to self-medicate which is a BIG NO, NO because it doesn’t really end the decay but just eases the pain, temporarily. Or they just go to the dentist to have the tooth extracted, no more, no less. This lack of complete set of teeth can bring down the self-esteem of a growing person, especially the generations of the teenagers who just wants to belong and fit it.
Teaching the correct principles of hygiene should begin at as early an age as possible. Children will follow the example set to them by their parents or care takers, so adults should lead by example.
Geode Allan V. Diansuy
ADZU-SOM Level I