Castries, Saint Lucia: The Dental Services Unit of the Ministry of Health continues to find creative ways to encourage proper dental hygiene, as per the official update by the Ministry.
The Unit recently placed a focus on infants, teaching various brushing techniques as well as proper eating habits. Students from Augier and surrounding communities attended an eight-day dental camp put on by the Dental Services Unit of the Ministry of Health.
As per the official update, the sessions focused mainly on the importance of oral hygiene and were appropriately themed “Smile Brighter, be a Cavity Fighter”.
The annual activity is the brainchild of Dental Hygienist Yasmine Burin. Burin grasped the opportunity to encourage parents to make use of the available dental clinics around the island while doing daily checks at home.
Yasmine Burin – Dental Hygienist at Vieux Fort Dental Clinic, stated, “Over the years, we’ve noticed that when children come to the clinic to do simple procedures like cleaning, we notice their oral hygiene is very bad. So the Brushwell activity was a very good activity in that all children from the ages of 5 to 8 years old were better able to do the correct brushing techniques as well as flossing.”
Understanding the various issues deterring persons from practising proper dental care, the limited staff of the Unit are often challenged with crafting creative approaches to encouraging proper hygiene.
The update also informed that at the camp’s closing ceremony, Dental Hygienist – Cheryl St Cyr noted the camp also engaged the students in proper nutritional habits.
Cheryl St Cyr – a Dental Hygienist in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, stated, “So after lunch, they lined up at the back there with their toothbrushes, and they brush their teeth to remove all bio burdens. So we had our children with clean teeth, I know, for that time. And we were happy to know that we can inculcate that habit in them of brushing their teeth after you have eaten.”
Senior Dental Surgent Dr Sherry Ephraim – Le Compt showered praises on the staff of the Unit for their continued innovation.
Dr Sherry Ephraim-Le Compt was quoted saying, “The Dental Services Unit takes its mandate very seriously and tries to take every opportunity to provide care and support to anyone who requires our services. We work alongside the formidable team health of the Ministry to reach as many people as possible for the sole purpose of improving their oral health and overall well-being.”
Parliamentary Representative for Laborie and four-time sponsor for the annual camp, Alpha Baptiste, says placing a focus on educating children on proper oral hygiene will help change their mindset for the future.
Alpha Baptiste said, “They say look, it’s six months. We have to go to the dentist; we must go. That is not just for dental hygiene but a culture of going to the doctor even though you are not sick. Wellness is not just about going to a hospital or going to a health centre to get an extraction or to get treated for something; it’s about prevention.”
Health Minister Moses Jn. Baptiste was also in attendance and expressed elation over the enthusiasm of the participating students, and stated, “It’s very important to know that our dental teams believe that you are a whole person, and I really love when the children came up to explain and to take care of your mouth and you must take care of your eating habits, you must exercise and even your security.”
As per the update, the Dental Services Unit says its aim is to continue empowering the community with knowledge and practical skills to prevent dental problems. The Unit is also hoping to see a decline in dental issues in the future.
The camp also included visits from personnel of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fire Service and the Royal St. Lucia Police Force. “The camp was also sponsored by SOL EC LTD. St Lucia, Forest Springs Water LTD., Yasmin Burin and the Ministry of Health,” as per the update.