Dental Caries is the most prevalent chronic disease among children in the global scenario. There are practically no geographic areas in the world whose inhabitants don?t exhibit some evidence of Dental Caries.
Early recognition of the disease is of vital importance. This is needed in order to prevent the disease and pain so as to make oral health services more relevant in the health. The age old saying, ?Prevention is better then cure? assumes significance in this regard.
Keeping in view the ongoing trend of increase in prevalence of Dental Caries among school going children, Dr. Sanjay Kalra organized free Dental health check-up camps in various school of Panchkula. The camps were aimed at making the children aware of their oro-dental health and educating them about the process of Dental Caries and motivating them about daily oral hygiene through slide presentations and live demonstrations. Simultaneously a study of prevalence of Dental Caries among school going children in various schools of Panchkula was carried out.
A total of 2216 children belonging to both the sexes were examined and diagnosis of caries was made using the criterion as laid down by the W.H.O.
The children?s were grouped in categories based upon their age. Study also noted the prevalence based upon socio-economic status. Children below 9-10 years of age were found to be most affected by caries. Percentage of caries being 77.54% the lowest caries incidence was recorded in 5-6 years of age group i.e. 52.94% followed by age group. of 12-13years i.e. 59.22%.
Increase in prevalence in 9-10 years can be attributed to longer exposure time of the Deciduous teeth i.e. milk teeth to the oral environment. The fall of prevalence in 12-13 years of age group may be due to increased awareness about the cleaning of teeth with advancing age along with improved manual Dexterity. Study also reveals that the permanent dentition is less susceptible to caries than the primary dentation.
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The study noted the prevalence of dental caries among the children belonging to different socio-economic strata, considering the fact that the children?s from MC school are from families belonging to lower socio-economic gp of society. Caries prevalence of children studying in MC school is higher than the children in public and convent schools. This can be due to the difference in the oral hygiene status and nutritional deficiencies and also because the cost factor limit the children?s of lower socio-economic strata to undergo periodic dental check-up.
As has been stated earlier the early recognition of the disease is of vital importance. Early intervention for better health depends on early identification. Timely detection is essential to alert both parents and health care professionals to the need for appropriate action. Treatment of dental caries has been identified as critical to both oral and general health.
Periodic dental health check-ups are must. A dental check-up every 6-month can help in early detection and treatment of caries. This is needed in order to prevent the disease and pain associated with advanced carious lessons.
The parents must take a lead in this regard, as they should accept responsibility for the oral hygiene status of the children. The caries situation in children is compatible with the fact that young children with their habit of consuming sweet and sugery articles are more prone to develop dental caries. Thus parents should not wait for pain occur before they consult the dentist, but should go for regular dental check-ups, which may prevent any painful experience in future.