Caries is one of the most common diseases in childhood. As the dental service of the health department of the city of Wolfsburg, we have the task of preventing dental, oral and jaw diseases in children through group prophylactic measures.
All those involved in the implementation of preventive measures - health insurance companies, the municipality, the state working group for youth dental care, sponsor dental practices, employees in schools and daycare centers, and we - have a common goal: a general reduction in the incidence of caries and equal health opportunities, since socially disadvantaged children are often also among those at risk of caries.
A dentist and three dental assistants work together in the team of the dental service of the Wolfsburg Health Department.
Group prophylaxis measures
The dental examination
The aim of the annual examination is to record the general caries risk for statistical evaluation and to be able to derive appropriate measures from it, as well as to determine the individual need for treatment with a recommendation to visit the dentist's office. In addition, attention is also paid to gum changes and tooth misalignments. The school examination takes place individually in compliance with medical confidentiality. Each child receives his or her examination result in a sealed envelope afterwards. The daycare centers either go to their sponsor dentist's office in groups or are also visited by us.
The experience of the examination from the group situation has a positive effect on visits to the dental practice, as it takes place in a familiar environment. However, it is an additional examination and does not replace the semi-annual check-ups at the dental office.
Oral health education
Here, children are taught about the development of caries in an age-appropriate manner and the connections with healthy eating and oral hygiene are explained. Depending on the age, this takes place in the form of games and stories and is prepared differently for each grade. At school, the content is supplemented by other topics relating to dental health, such as the change of teeth and information on visits to the dentist's office with an explanation of instruments.
Back and forth, back and forth-brushing teeth is not difficult
In the daycare center with the hand puppet Lucy, the little pink toothbrushing dinosaur with the beautiful dentures, and in the school with the large demonstration dentures, the children are taught the age-appropriate toothbrushing technique. Afterwards, they are allowed to apply what they have just learned and brush their teeth themselves.
In facilities with an increased caries risk, children are offered fluoride varnish to be applied to their teeth twice a year. We inform the parents in writing about this measure in advance and require their consent.
We are also happy to support daycare centers and schools with dental projects at any time by providing age-appropriate materials such as games, books, coloring pages, puzzles, and demonstration models, as well as with questions about brushing teeth in daycare centers.
We hope that this brief insight into our work on dental health will inspire you and motivate you in one way or another. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to send us an e-mail at email@example.com.