Each Vietnamese child aged between 6 and 8 has some 7 decayed teeth on average, it was revealed at a conference in Hanoi on December 30 to review the 2013 dental care programme at schools in the northern region.

In partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training and local authorities, The National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology rolled out the programme in 31 northern cities and provinces.

All elementary students in Ninh Binh, Hai Duong, Thua Thien-Hue and Lang Son provinces and Da Nang city have received dental care.

According to a survey by the Vietnam Odonto-Stomatology Association, in localities running the programme for at least five years, their children aged below 12 will have strong teeth with less than one decayed on average.

However, challenges remain ahead.

Trinh Dinh Hai, Chairman of the Vietnam Odonto-Stomatology Association, said that the programme fell short of expectation due to a lack of funding and local support, plus insufficient number of medical staff.

The hospital will continue with training those who will join in the programme. It will also provide schools with all necessary medical tools along the way.-VNA