Dental health: Experts call for strengthening community awareness hinh anh 1Dentists provide free dental examination and consultation to students in Hai Duong province on World Oral Health Day, March 20 (Photo courtesy of NHOS)

Hanoi (VNA) - Health experts called for increasing community awareness on oral health and prevention of dental diseases at a meeting organised by the National Hospital of Odonto and Stomalogy (NHOS) on March 20.

Speaking at the event held to celebrate the World Oral Health Day, March 20, NHOS Director Trinh Dinh Hai urged more attention to dental and oral health of the community, especially children.

“Over 90 percent of Vietnamese suffer from dental diseases and 85 percent of Vietnamese children have tooth decay. Many dental and oral diseases can cause nephritis syndrome or joint arthritis," Hai stressed.

“It would be very costly to provide dental and oral disease treatment for the whole community due to the country’s high prevalence rate. Therefore, preventive activities are the most important measure,” he said.

“A pilot project has shown safe and effective results of using fluoridised salt to prevent dental decay of the community in mountainous Lao Cai province since 2011. Expanding the project soon to all provinces and cities nationwide is an important measure in preventing dental and oral diseases for the 90 million people of Vietnam,” Hai said.

He suggested dentists and relevant authorities expand the school dental programme to protect dental health of students and to maintain the fluoridised water supply progamme, which has achieved remarkable results in dental decay prevention in HCM City since the early 1990s.

To mark the day, the health sector will undertake a series of activities nationwide with a focus on strengthening community awareness, especially targeting dental and oral healthcare of children. Dentists will provide free dental examination and consultation to the community, particularly at schools in tens of provinces and cities nationwide.

Several hospitals will provide free surgery to children with cleft lip and cleft palate in the country. NHOS will also donate dental chairs, medical tools and material to 15 primary schools in Vinh Phuc, Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces.

A survey by NHOS found that two-thirds of children aged between six and 14 have never undergone a dental check-up. 

Worse still, 100 percent of primary school students are not in the habit of brushing their teeth three times a day. There is one dentist in Vietnam for 25,000 people, whereas in developed countries the rate is one per 1,000-2,000 people.-VNA