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Preventive Oral Health Care in Children, Kerala
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Subject Area="Behavioural Change Communication." Objective="Promoting dental care."
Details for Reform Option "Preventive Oral Health Care in Children, Kerala"

Background: The health indicators of Kerala are comparable to developed countries, but oral health indicators show high prevalence of oral diseases. Prevalence of oral diseases like periodontal disease and dental caries are similar to all India figures. Dental caries and periodontal disease are both preventable diseases and significant reduction in the disease pattern has been demonstrated world wide by oral health education and preventive strategies. Treatment of dental ailments is expensive and hence there is need for promoting primary prevention. As the disease starts in early childhood with the eruption of the milk tooth, preventive strategies are most effective if it is started at or before the time of eruption of milk tooth at the age of 6 months. Nursing caries, rampant caries are frequently found in infants due to erratic feeding habits and lack of proper oral hygiene. These diseases affect the growth and development of the child by affecting diet and nutrition, chronic oral facial infections, pain, suffering and tooth loss. Persistent pain and painful mouth prevents the child from eating properly. It affects the overall well being of the child. Educating mothers on infant dental care will promote life long good oral hygiene habits and bring down the prevalence of this oral disease considerably. Action: After conducting a baseline survey, resource materials for training on oral hygiene were developed. Trainings were conducted for Junior Public Health Nurse and Anganwadi functionaries in Thiruvanathapuram District. Community level oral health promotion classes were conducted through mothers meetings in the Anganwadi Centres. Junior Public Health Nurse and Anganwadi workers jointly conducted these meetings. A post training evaluation was also conducted. Result: By training Anganwadi workers and primary health care staff it is becoming possible to educate the community especially mothers of young children. More results are yet to come.

Cost Budget for one District is INR 19.9 lakhs.
Place Trivandrum, Trichi and Athiyannur block of Kerala.
Time Frame Twelve months.

Implementation using existing infrastructure: No extra infrastructure is needed for the programme and can be easily integrated with the on going health programmes. No additional manpower is required: It does not require additional manpower. Inter- sectoral cooperation: The programme establishes inter-sectoral linkages between various departments. Excellent response: The programme has received excellent response from the community, various departments and the Panchayati Raj Institute.


None Perceived


* Government Order * Inter-sectoral linkages between Panchayat, Social Welfare Department and Health Department

Who needs to be consulted

Director of Health Services. Child Development Centre. Dental Public Health Expert.



Programme is sustainable if it is integrated into the existing health programmes.

Chances of Replication

The programme is being replicated in other districts of Kerala also.


There has been an excellent response from the staff of various departments and Local Self Government. Response from the community is also good and they have expressed that awareness regarding oral health was very low in the community and hence this programme is highly relevant.


Submitted By

Dr K Sandeep, Technical Secretary, Directorate of Health Services, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and Prabha Sati, Research Consultant, European Commission Technical Assistance, New Delhi. December 200

Status Active
Reference Files
BROCHUREFINAL.pdf brochure
Chart and Posters.pdf charts & posters
Oral health Care Training project.ppt Power point presentation on dental health
Oral Health Hand Book English .pdf Handbook
Oral Health Hand Book Malayalam.pdf Handbook
Oral Health Training Project- Malayalam.ppt Training (power point presentation)
Reference Links
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