A qualitative study conducted by the Department of Mobile Dental Clinic, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, Delhi, has found that financial constraints and lack of awareness are preventing Delhi government schools children from availing of oral health care.
The study further revealed that poor oral health is also affecting the academic performance of children.
As per the findings, a total of 47% of teachers said that lack of awareness is a major roadblock while 29.5% stressed that financial barriers are restricting children from oral care.
Doctors, who conducted the study emphasised that oral health is one of the crucial aspects of overall health and cannot be neglected but not getting timely care can result in the development of various oral health diseases in later stages of the life of the children.
The study carried out by Dr Vikrant Mohanty, Dr Swati Jain and Dr Shekhar Grover in 2020, was published in the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry.
A total of 44 teachers of government schools participated in the schools. They were asked a set of questions on oral healthcare.
The teachers admitted that oral health cannot be taken for granted but due to lack of awareness and affordability among the parents of children remain the biggest bottleneck to seek treatment.
“Majority of teachers felt that oral health is important. Although the main perceived barrier for seeking treatment was lack of awareness and financial constraints,” Dr Swati Jain, one of the authors of the study said, while speaking to Drug Today Medical Times.
Dr Jain pointed out there is a need for a massive awareness drive about dental care. She added that different government hospitals such as Delhi-AIIMS and MAIDS offer qualitative oral health care.