Integrated Oral Care (SA) has been in the forefront of initiating oral care programmes together with numerous organisations that are involved in the community. We have embarked on community programmes together with community organisations, children’s groups, religious organisations and students at both the University of Cape Town and The University of the Western Cape. We have been able to sustain many of these programmes on an ongoing basis.
Dear Dr. Kalan,
The Healthy Lifestyle Programme took place the 23-26 June 2013 in Darling, an hour trip out of Cape Town. The programme included 300 children between age 4-16 years old and the crèches in community of 60 children ages 2-5 years old. On behalf of the Healthy Lifestyle Outreach and the Team of 2013, we would like to thank you for you generous donation of Toothbrushes and Toothpastes.
On doing the dental Hygiene screening and talks by the Dentistry students of The University of the Western Cape and help of the rest of the team, it was noted the poor dental hygiene of the children in this impoverished community but the knowledge of brushing teeth was good. This showed the lack of understanding of basic dental pathology and availability of toothbrushes and toothpastes in the community. The importance of brushing teeth was emphasized and correct techniques taught to the children. Many of the children didn’t own their own toothbrushes and those that own one didn’t use it regularly.
The Outreach programme aimed to supply each child (4-16yrs) with their personal toothbrush and age appropriate toothpaste. We had a separate drive apart from the outreach programme for all the crèches in the community which were from 2-5 year old. We were able to supply these tiny tots with their own toothbrush and toothpaste and their names were written on each toothbrush and they were kept on school premises so regular use could be ensured every morning and afternoon before leaving school.
It was a pleasure in seeing the overwhelming faces of the children receiving their own toothbrush and toothpaste. A plan for the future would be to continue dental programme in the area of Darling, increasing availability and accessibility of these resources. This was only possible through the willingness of sponsors and donations by people such as yourself that such initiatives are able to be a success.
We thank you again and hope for your participation in future projects.