Pune: Dental diseases are a public health menace affecting the quality of life. There is also a big difference in oral health between the urban and rural population. Thus, India needs to have Oral Health Policy. This research paper by RS Gambhir and T Gupta in the Annals of Medical and Health Science Research corelates with the research done by Dr Amol Jamkhande, an Associate Professor at Bharati Vidyapeeth Dental College, Pune for his doctoral work.
Having 20 years’ experience in dentistry, Dr Jamkhande has become the first PhD holder from Maharashtra in the subject of Public Health Dentistry (PHD). “During my research, I found there is awareness among school students about oral health, but there is no implementation,” said Dr Jamkhande.
He selected three groups of school children in Pune from private, public and rural schools respectively. He gave them Dental Health Education according to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
He visited them eight times over two years. He wanted to know what will happen if the same dental education is given to children of different socio-economic background and he saw there was no difference.
When asked why he chose ‘Evaluating change in oral health after integrating dental information in school and meeting dental needs of Std 4 and 6 students’ as his topic, he said there should be basic awareness in children about what to eat and what not to eat.
“We observed that children listen to teachers more than their parents. Even after going to school every day, they do not practise the basic dental instructions. They know everything like how many times to brush and what not to eat, but the implementation part was difficult. I wanted to make the implementation easy. I want dental healthcare to be included in their curriculum so they can learn about it in detail,” he said.
“But I also want parents’ involvement in it as they are responsible for the child’s oral health,” he added.
One problem faced during research was of absenteeism of students. He said, “Students do not attend classes every day. So I had to go twice or thrice to the schools.”
He said dental cosmetic treatment is gaining popularity as everyone wants to look good. There are treatments available like if somebody wants to do teeth whitening or laminate veneer.
To have good, clean teeth one should make a habit to brush twice a day. Control eating sweets and sticky chocolates and avoid cold drinks as they contain soda, were some of the tips