DepEd 8 notes lack of school dentists

July 12, 2013 10:23 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, July 12 — If the problem of lack of teachers is bothering, shortage of dentist to check oral health needs of public school learners, is more alarming.

The Department of Education (DepEd) disclosed that Eastern Visayas has only 37 dentists to attend to needs of projected 1,117,737 enrollees in kindergarten, elementary, and secondary level this school year.

“For dental services the ratio should be one dentist for every 18,000 learners. But in the region, a dentist has to check the oral health of 30,209 enrollees every school year,” said Renelda Salar, DepEd Region 8 supervising nutritionist.

The dentists are also tasked to conduct check oral health status of public school teachers and non-teaching personnel.

Dental carries is consistently the leading ailment among elementary school pupils in Eastern Visayas with 17 percent of learners have a tooth problem.

Records of the DepEd regional health and nutrition unit shows that 118,909 pupils got this problem representing 17 percent of the 707,367 Grades 1 to 6 kids assessed.

Salar said that one of the most common reasons, aside from poverty, why some pupils are absent in classes is because of suffering tooth aches.

“There are some students who finished elementary and never get a chance to meet a public school dentist. Oral health care is very crucial for elementary pupils,” Salar said.

The shortage of dentist is one of the factors tagged why school children lacks oral hygiene, unaware of brushing of teeth and eating sweet and sticky foods.

The DepEd official said that they’ve been doing their part to address the problem by training teachers on dental health and incorporating the topic in Science and Health subjects.

Under the dental health program, the government provides some toothbrush, toothpaste, and sodium fluoride solution for mouth rinsing to reduce damage of teeth by 30 percent, however, budget constraint only allows DepEd to reach out few learners.

Other common ailments among elementary pupils in the region are pediculosis, colds, cough, scabies enlarged cervical myrrh nodes, skin diseases, and acne.

Described as tooth, dental carries is an infectious disease which damages the structures of teeth. The disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and, in severe cases,death.

Tooth decay is caused by certain types of acid-producing bacteria which cause damage in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. The resulting acidic levels in the mouth affect teeth because a tooth's special mineral content causes it to be sensitive to low. (PNA)

LAM/PGL/SQM/EGR

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