KARACHI – As part of the community outreach and service-learning initiative, the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at Bahria University Medical and Dental College organized its fourth free dental check-up under the leadership of Dr. Kulsoom Fatima, Head of the Department and Principal Dental Section.
In February 2015, 2nd year dental students examined approximately 550 pupils at Behbood Secondary School, a government school located in the railway colony near Kala Pul, Karachi. The students were accompanied by Dr. Hira Raza , Dr. Sehrish Ahmed and Dr. Raima Bashir . The school children were aged between 5 to 15 years, all belonged to the working class families.
Oral examination were carried out by tongue depressors with optimal cross-infection control. Apart from unsatisfactory brushing habits, an increase in consumption of chalia by school children was found to be a major health concern. Clinical findings included dental caries, gingivitis , missing teeth, halitosis, and fluorosis. It was also revealed that the most carious teeth were primary molars , a trend that has consistently been seen in mixed dentition.
The students were educated on maintaining good oral hygiene through proper tooth brushing habits, including brushing method, as demonstrated on a model, and correct brushing frequency, along with emphasis on intake of a healthy diet. Oral hygiene kits, sponsored by Colgate, were distributed amongst the children to reinforce oral health advice. They were also given flyers with details of dental treatment offered at Bahria University’s dental OPD.
Oral challenges of Pakistan are enormous. Dental public health is yet to witness major improvements with organized efforts of the society including public health sector, and dental community. These include revising oral health policies, regulating health services, improving literacy and organizing more community outreach programs. Cultural acceptance and cheap availability of betel quid, areca nut and cigarettes should be addressed as well. BUMDC is committed to playing its role in countering these challenges with diligence.-PR