Superhero smiles project launched
HESSEQUA A pilot project called Superhero Smiles was launched by the Western Cape Government Health in Eden, with the aim to improve the oral health of our communities, especially younger children.
The pilot, which also incorporates the community health workers, was started earlier this year. Community health workers and an oral hygienist visit selected pre-schools on a regular basis to show children the correct technique when brushing their teeth. Community health workers then do follow-up visits at home to ensure that good oral hygiene is practised both at school and at home.
Teachers and parents are also educated about the importance of good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. The department supplies toothbrushes and toothpaste for each child.
As with all health matters, good oral health needs each community member and parent to take responsibility for their own and their children’s oral health. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and it is much less painful, expensive and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.
In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
• Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily
• Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals
• Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
• Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist tells you to
• Making sure that your children under 12 years drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
Other oral health services offered by the WCGH include oral examinations, cleaning teeth and gums, treatment of pain and sepsis, dental X-rays as the aid to diagnosis,
Bright smiles all around.