3million Kids With Oral Problems Skip School
About three million children missed school in Ghana last year because of oral pain and other dental complications caused by poor hygiene.
A survey commissioned by Unilever Ghana, which made this known, was published ahead of World Oral Health Day on March 20th.
It showed that the quality of a child's oral care could have an impact beyond obvious medical problems like bad breath and dental pain.
The study, done in eight countries including Ghana, revealed: “Almost a quarter (24%) of children who felt oral pain in the last 12 months have not raised their hand in class or asked for help because they felt bad about their teeth (vs. 13% among those with no oral pain)”.
The research was conducted among children aged 6 to 17 years old and their parents, in eight countries: Ghana, Chile, Egypt, France, Italy, Indonesia, US and Vietnam.
It said 3 in 10 parents occasionally allowed their child to skip nightly brushing, which had a direct link to a higher incidence of oral pain.
A member of the Ghana Dental Association, Dr Esi Fuaba Afful, said children with good oral care not only suffered less pain but were also more likely to have high self-esteem which enabled them to do well in school and attain other social benefits.
Patience Oforiwa Mpereh, Oral care Category Manager at Unilever Ghana, said the firm's brands had been working on prevention through free dental check-ups and school programmes for 25 years.
“So far, we have protected 80 million smiles globally. On top of the all year long work, on World Oral Health Day, we reinforce these messages with events at schools in a number of markets. With this report, Unilever hopes to help evolve the conversation around oral care education around the world to inspire changes today that foster more opportunities for tomorrow,” Mpereh added.