The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has launched the Beautiful Smile service at seven health centres, with a view to roll out to all health centres by the end of 2018.
This is a new preventative service and the first of its kind in Qatar, targeting specifically pregnant women, infants and pre-school children (0-4 years of age). In addition, the service has been expanded to include school children aged 5-12 due to increasing demand. By the end of 2016, over 1,400 patients have visited the service with 58% identified as having dental caries.
Beautiful Smile is supported by over 240 clinical personnel, who are fully trained to deliver the service at their respective health centres and accredited for attending training through an agreement with College of North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q). Additionally, collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation has enabled PHCC general dentists to be trained over a period of 6-8 weeks and competent enough to deliver paediatric dentistry services. The service has identified and developed clinical guidelines to support service delivery.
Dr Asmaa Othman AlKhtib, manager, Oral Health Division and clinical lead for the Beautiful Smile service recalled the results of a survey of oral health among kindergarten children were shocking and made a compelling case for change. "We found that 89% of four to five-year-old Qatari children in government kindergartens had dental caries – most of them in severe form of the disease.”
"We found that the dietary habits of these children were not in favour of oral health. For instance, the most popular snacks were juices (65%). As many as 85% of mothers surveyed thought orange juice was good for the teeth. There was a significant association between the presence of caries and the knowledge of mothers that orange juice is good for teeth,” she added.
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