Pupils of Munini Primary School, Nderi Sector in Gasabo District, last week received free dental care services, thanks to Rwanda Dental Association in partnership with KIPHRMA, Crown, SOS Children’s Village and Dental Health without Borders.
Under the theme, ‘Healthy Smile is our concern’, the community outreach project was organised to reach out to children in primary schools and create awareness about oral health.
The association, comprised of 336 members mainly dentists from different districts and private hospitals, carried out activities such as the oral health education, consultations as well as offering treatment to those with urgent problems.
Among the problems that were attended to included, removal of damaged and impaired teeth, treating of dental carries and cleaning of teeth with plaques.
According to Christine Uwamwezi, the representative of Rwanda Dental Association, children are the most vulnerable groups to dental problems because they lack knowledge and some don’t know exactly how to take care of their teeth. Besides, their parents also have less knowledge on dental issues, she said.
Uwamwezi noted that most people take oral health for granted yet it’s a huge problem that can cause further complications and loss of teeth if measures are not taken to prevent it.
“Most of the patients normally rush to the hospital late when the conditions are in late stages, leaving the dentist with no option but to remove the damaged teeth. This is can be avoided as there are simple things that can be done to prevent such conditions if the society is well-educated about oral health,” she said.
Emmanuel Gatsinzi, a dentist from Nyamata Hospital, pointed out that among the common dental problems in children are dental carries and periodontal diseases, which are all brought about by poor oral health.
“In order to avoid such problems, brushing teeth daily and after meals is as important to keep your teeth from dental problems. Embracing good techniques of brushing, for instance by starting from the gums to the teeth and doing it systematically are essential. It is also important to clean the teeth at least twice daily, one time preferably before going to bed,” he said.
Emmanuel Biziyaremye, the coordinator of oral health at SOS Children’s Village in Rwanda, said their aim is to teach students on the prevention measures of oral problems, adding that visiting pupils at Munini Primary School was in line with their duties.
“Our programme focuses on school-going children where we focus on giving them tooth paste, brushes and antiseptic products to prevent them from developing any avoidable dental problems caused by poor oral health. We also teach them how to implement good oral practices and believe by doing this, the children will also help their communities in creating this awareness,” he said.