Orphans suffering from poor oral health in Borneo

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A leading orthodontist in Borneo has revealed that up to 70 percent of orphaned children suffer from poor oral health and require extensive dental treatment.

Dr Noraini Alwi found that 70 percent of the orphans at Kompleks Kebajikan Laila Taib required treatment and only one of them did not have tooth decay. Dr Alwi said it was a worrying situation and there was no excuse for children attending government schools to be suffering with oral health problems; according to Dr Alwi, the children receive routine dental care at both primary and secondary school.

Dr Noraini Alwi was speaking at a press conference at the Laila Taib Smile of Hope Project yesterday and claimed that the children had been extremely positive and responsive during educational sessions about oral health and oral hygiene. The project is designed to provide orthodontic treatment to needy children.

The children were also screened for orthodontic treatment, as well as being given a general check-up; orthodontic treatment enables children to speak and eat properly, as well as enhancing the overall aesthetic of the smile and most people are unaware of the range of benefits of such treatment, according to Dr Alwi.

At the press conference, Dr Alwi also encouraged members of the public to take care of their teeth and gums and learn about oral hygiene and healthy eating. Numerous studies have now confirmed oral health as an indicator of general health and several have suggested a strong link between gum disease and an increased risk of strokes, diabetes and heart disease.

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