The Department of Community & Preventive Dentistry, Sindh Institute of Oral Health Sciences (SIOHS) – JSMU organized an oral health education session and a free dental checkup for the special children in need of health care at ACELP, in collaboration with Asia Pacific Dental Students Association (APDSA) and Colgate Palmolive.

Around 75 special children were screened during the dental checkup, having long-term physical, behavioral, emotional, and developmental conditions that required attention and health care.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Amjad Siraj Memon praised the SIOHS team for providing free dental checkups and oral health education to students as well as their caregivers responsible for their oral health.

The dental team comprised the Head of Community & Preventive Dentistry SIOHS of Dr Marium Azfar, Assistant Professor Dr Hina Shah, Lecturers Dr Daroshum Khan and Dr Sumbal Ayaz with the team of APDSA, and supervised by their focal person Maryam Iqbal and President APDSA Yumna Zubair.

The sessions consisted of oral presentations of common oral diseases, highlighting their etiological and risk factors with particular emphasis on preventive measures, followed by oral health activities including brushing technique and flossing.

Addressing the session, Principal SIOHS Professor Dr Zubair Abbasi said that numerous factors, such as economic status, parental information levels, drug therapies, and systemic conditions, are related to the oral health status of children.

Following the sessions, Dr Marium Azfar highlighted that it is necessary to teach children brushing and oral hygiene practices as early age habits, as special children have more learning skills during their developing years.

During the dental office visit for the regular fluoride application to prevent tooth decay, she emphasized routine dental checkups and shared the findings that the parents/caretakers of these children often delay dental treatment due to anxiety It was reported that 70 % of the children’s parents/care admitted that their children had difficulty brushing their teeth.

The school Principal, Administrator, and staff members of ACELP thanked SIOHS-JSMU for the dental awareness sessions and oral hygiene activities.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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