DENTAL YOUTH PROGRAM “DYP”
School Oriented Oral Hygiene Education Program
Dr. Mohammad Zuhair Al Khairo “DrMZK Best Dentist Dubai”
When a child is having a dental problem at school age, it’s important to find out why. If we agree that the oral hygiene activities and habits are a combination of a very fine manipulative motor skills, which is about using hands and fingers to control and move an object, and cognitive skills, which is about learning, interacting, memorizing, paying attention and problem solving more than the actual knowledge. This requires certain age to make it possible for the child to start receiving the proper training needed to develop these fine skills, and if we estimated that the proper age would be around 7 years old, which is the age in which fine motor skills start to develop rapidly, so what about the years before? And how we are going to train our children well? And what we need to do to make sure that they are doing fine? Whose responsibility is that? And when we can rely on them? And who is needed to be involved in that process of learning? Is it just a matter of luck? Or there is something missing?
Almost every day I see an adult patient with bleeding gums and dental issues and when I ask him to show me how to brush his teeth, I find something wrong with his brushing habits related to the technique, frequency and knowledge. As a dental professional it’s my duty to show this individual the correct technique for brushing and flossing and to provide the information needed to keep a good oral health. Patient training and follow up are very important factors to overcome this problem. Some of these individuals they do master it so quickly and some needs more time to adapt. This difference is all about skills. When it comes to little ones I have noticed that the child start to learn oral hygiene habits mostly at age of 7. Before age 7, I noticed that most children can brush the outer surfaces of their lower front teeth but they cannot control to clean the rest properly and most of them they fail to perform flossing. That’s why I always advice the parents to do this mission by themselves and not to rely on the child but they should give him or her the chance to practice without tooth paste (or with non-fluoridated tooth paste). Other than the actual brushing time.
After age 7, I encourage the parents to involve the child in learning oral hygiene habits seriously by using disclosing tablets as a tool for the child to practice and as a tool for the parents to supervise. With the difference in the perception and skill level the children will start to develop the correct technique needed to keep their oral hygiene level. Then it’s my call to give the green light to the parents to rely on them completely but not to stop supervising them. This story is about a small group of people that I used to see at my office, but what about the others?! … It makes me sad when I see a child at my office who is under 7 with a bad oral hygiene and when I ask the parents how many times you brush for you child? They quickly reply “ask him, or ask her”, then they start to complain about how the child is not listening to them…., and I feel sorry for all children who are not having the chance to get the proper way of keeping their oral health.
As a father in the first place and as professional in this field I designed this educational system which can make it possible for all the school age children to have good oral hygiene. It can be the first step for the total solution to a serious infectious disease among school age children around the world. This program addresses the method needed to make it possible that after 5 years from now schools undergoing this educational program will have a great drop in dental disease among the children and this will insure less absence due to dental complaint and consequently medical complaint. This program would also insure that children would retain the proper oral hygiene habits.
Oral Hygiene – We all know that Oral Hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems.
Oral Hygiene for Children is more than their healthy teeth and their healthy gums, it’s their healthy smile, their confidence, their presentation, their healthy life style and normal education process, their general health and their future……
Good or Bad (G or B)? Kids are either ones with GOOD oral hygiene or BAD oral hygiene.
- G or B From Dental and Social point of view
Those with good oral hygiene are – usually friendly with the dentist. Their dental treatments are mostly preventive routine, not painful, mostly do not require injections and are not expensive.
They grow to have perfect natural smiles which make them confident and positive.
Those with bad oral hygiene – they usually fear the dentist. Their dental treatments are mostly complicated and requires anesthesia (sometimes general anesthesia) and are mostly expensive.
They grow with different experience with the dentist and in the future, they will struggle to have their perfect smile or they will just forget about it………
- G or B From Medical point of view
Bad oral hygiene is accused now a day for causing serious medical problems like heart problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, miscarriage, respiratory tract infections, it can also affect the growth of the facial bone and cause facial deformity due to teeth loss.
Good oral hygiene increases life span up to 6 years as per new researches
“If we can offer to give our children a mouth free of dental disease, per all these facts it would be the best gift ever”.
From my experience being a dentist for more than 15 years and as a father of an 8 years old child I have found that we can classify children into three main groups
1- Orally Healthy Group are those who have no active dental and periodontal disease
2- Orally Partially Diseased Group are those who have active dental or periodontal disease but not yet orally unhealthy
3- Orally Unhealthy Group are those with extremely active, untreated dental or periodontal disease, with damaged teeth structure.
We all know that sugar and bacteria are the causative factors but this is not the only reason! In fact, all these groups consume sugar and they all have bacteria in their mouth but the disease activity varies from one group to another due to the presence of certain activators and inhibitors. These activators and inhibitors are simply a combination of habits related to what we eat and what we leave in our mouth after eating.
- Sugar in all forms: the more sugar and carbohydrates the more activation. Frequency, order, time and form are a very important factor.
- Wrong oral Hygiene habits: oral hygiene habits should be started with the first tooth erupted with the proper frequency and technique.
- Food: Milk and dairy products, Xylitol.
- Vitamin D
- Fluoride: tooth paste and fluoride supplement.
- Oral Hygiene habits: again, frequency and technique.
To simplify that, if we are at the stage of orally healthy group it’s very easy to transform to the partially unhealthy group by adding activator to our habits or by removing inhibitor.
It’s the same case we can switch from the active disease group to the healthy group by simply knowing the activator inhibitor rule.
Since it’s about knowledge and motor skills so it’s more like a toy which falls under age category. Since children are somehow not ready only until certain age so it should be done by adult until the proper age is reached but still should be supervised by adults until the child master it.
“1-7-14” Concept means (1-7 teach the parents / 7-14 teach the child)
Why Education system?
Since not all adults know how to play well so we need to educate them, and we need to train them and we need to give them a manual to follow and then we need to help them to make sure that everything is going right. And all that is more like an education system that needs to work on a target group (Children and Parents), in a correct place (School), by professionals (DYP).
For Such a program there will be a RULE