The Dental Services Unit at the Ministry of Health has employed creative ways to encourage proper dental hygiene. The Unit recently targeted infants, to teach proper brushing techniques and healthy eating habits.
Students from Augier and surrounding communities attended the eight-day dental camp. The sessions, themed “Smile Brighter, be a Cavity Fighter”, focused on the importance of oral hygiene. The annual activity is the brainchild of Dental Hygienist Yasmine Burin.
At the closing, Burin grasped the opportunity to encourage parents to make use of the available dental clinics around the island, while performing daily checks at home.
“Over the years we’ve noticed that oral hygiene is lacking among children who come in for simple procedures like cleaning. The “brush well” activity engaged children aged 5 to 8 and educated them on the correct brushing and flossing techniques,” she said.
Dental Hygienist Cheryl St. Cyr said the camp also sensitized students on proper nutritional habits.
“After lunch, they lined up with their toothbrushes and brushed their teeth to remove all bio burdens. Our children had clean teeth during that time, and we were happy to know that we were able to inculcate in them the habit of brushing their teeth after eating.”
Senior Dental Surgeon, Dr. Sherry Ephraim -Le Compt showered praises onto staff of the unit for their continued innovation.
“The Dental Services Unit takes its mandate seriously and tries to take every opportunity to provide care and support to anyone who requires our services. We work alongside the formidable team of the Ministry of Health to reach as many people as possible for the sole purpose of improving oral health and overall wellbeing.”
Parliamentary Representative for Laborie and four-time sponsor for the annual camp, Hon. Alva Baptiste said placing a focus on educating children on proper oral hygiene, will help change their mindsets for the future, because “wellness is not just about treatment, it’s about prevention.”
Health Minister, Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste was also in attendance and expressed elation over the enthusiasm of the participating students, and encouraged them to exercise healthy eating habits.
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 included visits from personnel of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fire Service and the Royal St. Lucia Police Force; and was sponsored by SOL EC Ltd. Saint Lucia, Forest Springs Water Ltd., Ms. Yasmin Burin and the Ministry of Health.
The Soufriere Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Limited through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Saint Lucia, has assumed ownership of the fisheries facility