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Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry Official publication of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4

Fill it, shut it, and forget itů!!!

Editor-in-Chief, JISPPD, Nair Hospital Dental College, Dr. A. L. Nair Road, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400 008, India

Correspondence Address:
S G Damle
Editor-in-Chief, JISPPD, Nair Hospital Dental College, Dr. A. L. Nair Road, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400 008
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.40312

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How to cite this article:
Damle S G. Fill it, shut it, and forget itů!!!. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2008;26:4

How to cite this URL:
Damle S G. Fill it, shut it, and forget itů!!!. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2008 [cited 2023 Feb 5];26:4. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2008/26/1/4/40312

In the new era of urbanization and westernization of lifestyles in our country, the need of the hour is faster and automated services. The answer to our insatiable hunger to make our lives easier gave way to the development of vending machines for quick provision of snacks, soft drinks, and candies that can be made available at every corner. However, the introduction of vending machine in and around schools created a new problem, especially for dental surgeons as we were basking in the glory of fluorides with a decreasing dental caries prevalence in children, unaware of the detrimental effects of these friendly automated vending machines that had provided easy access to small children who were unable to decide the right food habits and were falling prey to the combined effect of fancy advertisement campaigns and easily available snacks at their disposal.

According to various studies that have been conducted recently comparing the dental caries experience of children in schools having vending machines and those without, it was found that the children in the schools having vending machines for dispensing soft drinks, candies etc. had a higher dental caries experience than the children in other schools having no vending machines.

The situation is worsened by the injudicious opinions of school authorities to install vending machines as a revenue generating alternative, without giving thought to the depreciation of health standards of the children is taking its toll. There is a spurt in dental caries prevalence amongst teenagers in the developed countries. School students in the United States - 93.6% of the senior high school, 83.5% of the middle school, and 58.1% of the elementary schools - purchase soft drinks, fruits, and sport drinks from vending machines, school stores, canteens, or snack bars. Children of age 9 years or older consume a lot of carbonated beverages. The consumption of soft drinks and snacks can displace healthier foods from children diet, which can be detrimental to general and oral health. The children and adolescents are at an important stage of dental development; hence additional dental care is needed during this period.

The installation of vending machines in schools has increased the ease of access of the various types of foods, such as soft drinks etc., influencing children's dietary habits. The positive correlation between use of vending machines in schools is usually associated with sale of sugar and fatty snacks and increased DMF scores in children. The acceptance of such a lifestyle, especially in the developing countries like India, will be harmful to dental health. Vending machines in schools should either be removed or be replaced with alternative healthy food or sugar-free candies and tooth-friendly snacks. It is the time to realize that prevention is better than cure and we should reconsider the necessity of vending machines in schools along with a common adage associated with them. Should we really Fill it, Shut it, and Forget itů?


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