Like all children in Vanuatu, the children of Analcauhat Primary School do not have a culture of tooth brushing. An opportunity was created in 2017 for 180 children to use electric toothbrushes everyday using fluoride toothpaste. Unlike many other of the 80+ Islands and Islets, Aneityum does not have any natural fluoride content in their water supplies.
The children will have their oral hygiene regularly evaluated by Malone Henry, one of the training oral health workers in Analcauhat Village. Regular radiographs and updated dental records will reflect their improved oral health outcomes. Exciting tooth brushing times ahead for the school where Principal and teachers are committed to improving their children’s oral health alongside the well equipped health care workers. Children will also be evaluated twice a year using ICDAS by a friend of Kokorosa, but the main aim of this project is to develop a culture of regular tooth brushing.
Design of set up and design of storage of toothbrush heads and chargers was by Terry Williams of MEDWORX. He has donated all storage facilities and set up as well as his time to make this this project sustainable as the toothbrushes run off their existing solar system at their health clinic which is two minutes’ walk from the Primary School.
The first 6 months of Oral B toothpaste has been donated by Ivoclar Vivadent, New Zealand, via Emma Coupe (Marketing Manager Communications & Professional Services Pacific).
Please be in contact is you wish to donate toothpaste to this programme.
This project is now supported by the New Zealand Dental Hygienist Association (2018) through a very generous grant from them for the brush handles and heads for the Primary School. June 2018 will see ten new handles and also replacement heads delivered to the programme allowing more children to brush at one time. The community are reporting less bleeding gums as this programme rolls out. June will also see the beginning of an ICDAS evaluation in collaboration with training oral health trainees. Thanks especially to Radiographic Supplies for the constant use of their outstanding Digora Optime portable digital radiograph system which allows ICDAS to be used.