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Nov 2, 2012

Getting to the root of dental week at St. Joseph Primary

Dental Health Week kicked off last Sunday and will wind down this Saturday with the theme: “Healthy Eating, Daily Brushing; Brighter Smiles for a Healthy Belize.” The dental profession is promoting dental awareness through a fluoride treatment program among primary school children. Since Monday, students from seventeen primary schools in Belize District and the City have been participating in the fluoridation program. News Five caught up with Senior Dental Surgeon, Doctor Rafael Samos of the Dental Department in the Ministry of Health at the St. Joseph Primary School.


Doctor Rafael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon, Ministry of Health

“We already covered Sand Hill, Biscayne, Ladyville, Hattieville—approximately seventeen schools in all. The target population that we want to accomplish is about six thousand. So far, by the end of the day, we will have covered about four thousand five hundred, but the following week we will continue about two other days.”


Duane Moody

Rafael Samos

“Why is it necessary for these kids to get this treatment?”


Doctor Rafael Samos

“It falls perfectly when it comes in between when the kids are really into that sweet. We are trying to fight that cavity and we are not giving that bacteria that chance to take over that tooth. We are protecting it from before and all through the week we are providing to the school children because we know that they are going to be exposed to those sweets. It is an activity that really protects the teeth. Fluoride has been proven to really protect teeth. The way it protects, is that it really hardens the first layer of the tooth which means that the bacteria will have a harder time to really break through the first layer. There is always need to give more services. But as a step ahead, if you compare it from the past where the dentist; especially the government dentists were known only to take out teeth; we are moving away from that into more of a preventative measure. We are giving more attention to fillings, cleanings, sealants and now fluoride treatments. This is fluoride varnish itself; something that should be applied every six months.”


Other activities held countrywide include: a poster competition and quizzes.

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2 Responses for “Getting to the root of dental week at St. Joseph Primary”

  1. from the present looking to the future says:

    My child’s teeth was painted with fluoride, also informed to swollow the chemical. No school note asking for authorization from parents was issued. In fact, this exercise was conducted without notice.

    I’ll take the “high road” and consider that the school and ministry are unaware of the dangers of fluride on a developing child’s brain. They may well be unaware that fluoride is a by product of a toxic chemical reaction.

    My child receives enough fluoride from the drinking water and toothpaste…….

    would it not be more ethical to inform the parents and ask for authorization to conduct this exercise BEFORE poisoning my child?

  2. Seletar says:

    If they don’t have parent’s signed consent in advance, they shouldn’t be performing anything of a medical/dental nature on a child, unless it is a life-threatening emergency.

    There is controversy about fluoride everywhere it is commonly used, and I think it is the parent’s right to know and decide. Without consent, I think it is technically a battery to touch the child, even when the person thinks he is doing something good for the child.

    I’d like to hear from the schools whether parents knew and consented in advance?

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