BC Dental health
Through school visits, Abu Dhabi aims to create awareness about the importance of dental health and its link to overall health. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: A series of school visits and interactive workshops in Abu Dhabi will create awareness about the importance of dental health and its link to overall health.

The Oral and Dental Health Week initiatives have been launched by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), the emirate’s public health watchdog, in collaboration with the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE), which runs public schools, and the private education regulator, the Department of Education and Knowledge — Abu Dhabi (Adek).

School visits

School visits will see the delivery of interactive educational workshops for children, with the use of models, puzzles and other forms of interactive content. ADPHC will also showcase a series of cartoons featuring popular Emirati character Mansour in order to familiarise children with proper oral and dental care practices, including the need for routine dental checks. Some episodes will also deal with the need to prevent bullying focussed around dental differences.

“Gulf Oral and Dental Health Week represents an opportunity to renew our commitment for the importance of maintaining excellent oral health practices, and integrate the program with other health programmes aimed at fighting chronic diseases. Dental and oral diseases can be prevented and reduced by taking simple preventive measures applied at home and in dental clinics, which are guaranteed to be cost-effective and can be achieved in a small period of time compared to the cost and duration of treatment when things go wrong,” said Dr Omniyat Al Hajri, ADPHC executive director of community health.

Link with other diseases

“According to empirical research, most oral diseases and conditions share modifiable risk factors with the leading noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. These risk factors include tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets high in [processed] sugars, all of which are increasing at the global level. There is a proven relationship between oral and general health. It is reported, for example, that diabetes is linked with the development and progression of periodontitis — a gum disease. Moreover, there is a causal link between high consumption of sugars and diabetes, obesity and dental caries,” Dr Al Hajri explained.

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Ways to protect your teeth

Enjoy having a balanced low-sugar diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

Consider water to be your main drink.

Stop all forms of tobacco use and seek help from specialists.

Ensure getting enough fluoride, as it is a key factor in preventing tooth decay. Use toothpaste containing fluoride at 1000 to 1500 ppm.

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using a soft brush.

Visit the dentist at least once a year. This applies to all members of the community of different age groups, including toddlers, whose parents are encouraged to make the first visit to the dentist with the eruption of the first tooth.

Use protective mouth equipment when exercising.