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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 : 2018  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 223-224

A vision for pediatric and preventive dentistry oral health policy in India

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication24-Sep-2018

Correspondence Address:
Sudhindra Baliga
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISPPD.JISPPD_250_18

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How to cite this article:
Baliga S. A vision for pediatric and preventive dentistry oral health policy in India. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2018;36:223-4

How to cite this URL:
Baliga S. A vision for pediatric and preventive dentistry oral health policy in India. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Aug 17];36:223-4. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2018/36/3/223/241969

Oral health is integral to overall health. Untreated dental problems in children may result in attention deficits, trouble in school, and problems sleeping and eating.[1] Certainly, the oral health policy in India, formulated way back, is an austere picture even today.[2] There are hardly any national oral health policies or programs in India that reach to every section of society and make the parents conscious of their child's oral conditions and the health practices that should be adopted. Thus, there is an urgent need for oral health assessments, anticipatory guidance, prevention, and early intervention among infants and young children for oral health care in India. The national organizations such as the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and Indian Society of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry recommend age one for the first oral health evaluation. By adopting the guidelines, we can work together to eradicate the terrible epidemic of unmet oral health needs in children.

The following are certain key considerations for adopting a national oral health policy specific to children which demands immediate attention from the key stakeholders,

  • Recognition that dental caries can begin in early childhood if primary preventive measures are not commenced
  • Early childhood caries may have substantial effects on the child and will frequently need restorative treatment and extraction of teeth at an early age
  • Caries in early childhood would result in substantial cost and contribute to pain, speech problems, learning and eating problems, poor nutrition, low body weight, and potential risk to overall child health[3]
  • The urgent need to combine health promotion, preventive measures, and early interventions to overcome the unmet dental needs
  • Early visits to trained health-care professionals provide an opportunity to encourage primary prevention measures for oral health
  • The need for national agencies to include promotion of oral health of infants and children as an integral component of general health assessment and health promotion and to provide specific information, training, and technical assistance on oral health assessment procedures and anticipatory guidance[4]
  • To improve recognition among key stakeholders, the importance of preventive oral health care to general health and well-being and policy proposals to improve oral health and access to oral health care
  • Changing perceptions of the public, policy-makers, and health providers regarding oral health and disease so that oral health becomes an accepted component of general health.

Indeed, such policy decisions would create a better start toward lifelong oral health for children of the future. We, as pedodontist society in India, advocate that oral health care for children and young adolescent must be included in the design and provision of individual, community-based, and national health-care programs to achieve comprehensive health care in India.

   References Top

Petersen PE. The World Oral Health Report 2003: Continuous improvement of oral health in the 21st century – The approach of the WHO Global Oral Health Programme. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2003;31 Suppl 1:3-23.  Back to cited text no. 1
Reddy KV, Moon NJ, Reddy KE, Chandrakala S. Time to implement national oral health policy in India. Indian J Public Health 2014;58:267-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
AAPD definition of early childhood caries (ECC) classifications, consequences, and preventive strategies. Pediatr Dent 2004;25:31-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
Vargas CM, Ronzio CR. Disparities in early childhood caries. BMC Oral Health 2006;6 Suppl 1:S3.  Back to cited text no. 4

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