Oral Health Services for Preschool Children
Lo Ying Shek Chi Wai Foundation sponsored the "Oral Health Services for Preschool Children", launched by the Department of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine of the University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, to provide in-school dental care for 1,000 grassroots children in Hong Kong from January 2020.
The project covers a wide range of services including in-school oral examination, dental scaling, dental filling and simple dental extractions, as well as distributing "Teeth Protecting Leaflet" to parents for teaching children to properly protect their teeth. These services will fill the gap of the "School Dental Care Service" which does not cover preschools and kindergartens.
Early childhood is a critical period of development. However, the School Dental Care Service currently provided by the Hong Kong Government does not cover children from this age group. Kindergarten students with dental problems have to visit private dental clinic or wait until they become eligible for the public service. Therefore, children from underprivileged families may not receive timely dental treatment, causing delayed treatment and worsening of dental problems.
Early childhood is an important period during which socioeconomic conditions become biologically embedded. Bridging the health disparity during early childhood can promote a better child development and school readiness, which could provide substantial improvement during later life. Compared with the public School Dental Care Service which focuses on primary school students, “Oral Health Services for Preschool Children” can meet the needs of underprivileged children, also forging the pathway to a more effective public oral health care system.
By supporting the services, Lo Ying Shek Chi Wai Foundation aims to promote young children’s dental health, also to prompt the Government to support oral health services for young children by extending the public service to all kindergartens in the city.
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