Dental health policy in schools institutionalized
(The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2019 - 12:00am

The Department of Education (DepEd) has released a comprehensive policy that would institutionalize oral health program in public schools nationwide.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in an order dated Dec. 9, said there is a need to come up with a policy that would ensure that all students and DepEd personnel have access to a holistic and comprehensive oral health program.

Under the guidelines, dental checkups and provision of adequate and curative oral health care will be provided to all students and personnel at least once a year.

Oral health services that would be made available include oral examination, cleaning, application of fluoride and sealants, and other urgent oral treatment such as gum treatment and restoration and filling.

Referrals to dental clinics will also be provided for patients needing further oral health management.

Toothbrushing drills will also be conducted in all K-12 public schools at least twice a day, with those under Grade 3 supervised by their teachers and advisers.

The DepEd also committed to strengthen oral health education by educating students on correct oral health practices as well as by developing an evidence-based education program that can be integrated in existing curricula.

The agency vowed to upgrade the competencies of dental personnel in schools and promote collaboration with various stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the comprehensive oral health policy.

The agency’s school health division is also mandated to coordinated with the education facilities division to determine the standards for oral health facilities, including proper wastewater and septage disposal and the correct specifications of dental clinics.

Schools have been tasked also to ensure that clean water is provided to dental clinics and their respective toothbrushing facilities.

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