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Community Health Initiatives

Oral health in India is relatively neglected due to various factors. The lack of oral health education and proper medical facilities has compounded this problem to epidemic proportions. Based on an assessment of oral health care needs, IDA has implemented several initiatives with an integrated approach to the core areas of oral health care --- preventive, diagnostic and treatment.

There is a need to empower the community to take responsibility for their health. The endeavour aims to provide access to improved oral health care services for the community and to build awareness on preventive oral health and hygiene through dissemination of information within the community.

IDA Oral Cancer Foundation

Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) envisions a future, when cancer incidence and mortality will be significantly reduced through preventive measures like regular screening. The foundation undertakes education and counselling for prevention through lifestyle changes to enhance quality of life.

Oral Cancer Foundation(OCF) was launched by IDA on August 26, 2007. It was inaugurated by Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil. The ceremony was graced by, Dr. James Sciubba - world renowned oral pathologist of The Johns Hopkins Medical Centre, USA and Dr. Mark Rutenberg – inventor of Brush Biopsy Technology and Diya Mirza - Film actress.

The introduction of ‘Brush Biopsy’ Technology in India is a significant contribution in the early detection and treatment of oral cancer at its earliest stages for life-saving intervention by the dental professionals. By using the brush biopsy test to detect dysplasia, a lesion can be removed years before it can develop into oral cancer.

The foundation facilitates in diagnosis, early detection and treatment of oral cancer. OCF inspires hope by setting up a network of Spot Prevent Oral Cancer Trauma (SPOT) Centres for early detection for timely treatment and better chances of survival.

SPOT Centre :

Under the aegis of OCF, IDA launched the ‘S.P.O.T Centres that offers a certification programme for the dental professionals for knowledge and skill enhancement. The dental professionals will be facilitated to set up oral cancer detection Centre - ‘S.P.O.T Centre’ which aims to promote early detection and intervention thereby reducing the incidence of oral cancer in the country.

  • The S.P.O.T Centre should have all equipment required for detection of cancer.
  • Institutions/Hospitals should provide comprehensive cancer treatment services.
  • The S.P.O.T Centre will help in spreading awareness in the community and among health personnel regarding oral cancers and their early detection/prevention.
  • The S.P.O.T Centre will undertake training of health workers in cancer detection and further treatment.
  • The S.P.O.T Centre will provide patient data in order to facilitate research activities in the prevention and treatment of oral cancer.
  • The S.P.O.T Centre will have to undergo periodic monitoring and evaluation to ensure optimum functioning according to the IDA standards.

Tobacco Intervention Initiative

The Tobacco Intervention Initiative (TII) is a professionally-led "call to action" to eradicate tobacco addiction, strive for a `tobacco free India' and thus improve the oral and general health of Indians by the year 2020. Tobacco smoking and consumption of smokeless or chewing tobacco affects the lives of billions of persons, posing an enormous public health challenge in its complexity, scale and impact, both at an individual and nation-wide level.

Under this venture the dental professionals would be trained and certified for Tobacco Intervention. Dental clinics and institutions can register as the TII centres across the country.

TII Centre :

A Tobacco Intervention Initiative, TII centre, is an IDA Certified Tobacco Intervention Centre where the dentist would not just take care of your teeth, but would also be in a position to help you to get over your tobacco addiction.

Your dentist is a trained tobacco intervention professional and the clinic is equipped with the necessary supportive infrastructure, including CD’s for the patients, booklets and other educational materials.

Brush Up Challenge

Brush Up Challenge campaign was started to adopt good oral care habits as many Indians are not aware of the right technique to brush. Indians use finger instead of a brush, black tooth powder, tobacco preparations, herbal twigs, etc.

IDA in association with Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited observes an Oral Health Month every year. During this period, various innovative activities are organised to promote oral healthcare. In October 2007, as part of Oral Health Month a record number of 177,003 people brushed their teeth simultaneously at 380 locations across India, in one day, at one time. Thereby successfully creating a Guinness World Record in India for ‘most people brushing their teeth (multiple venue)’. Colgate and IDA were awarded this certificate of achievement by Guinness World Record.

A mass brushing event was organised at Kalka Public School, in New Delhi, on October 9, 2007 where over 5,000 children from 7 schools assembled and simultaneously brushed their teeth, as they attempted to create a new world record. Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan graced the event as the chief guest of the function organised in New Delhi. In addition to the centralized mass-brushing event at Kalka Public School in Delhi, over 170,000 children from 379 locations across India participated in satellite brushing events held at various school venues

This was aimed at boosting and spreading greater awareness about oral health in India, while teaching school children the right way to brush. Dental health packs were provided to each student taking part in the attempt, which included a toothbrush, toothpaste, bottled water and a suitable container for rinsing.

Dental Wellness Initiative

The All India Dental Wellness Initiative was undertaken jointly with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Indian Dental Association and through private participation. This was done to improve oral health and to evolve an oral health index of the country. The project initiates with obtaining statistics on the present oral health status in India. It involves wide spread participation of the citizens at large. The effort was made to assess the incidence and prevalence of dental and oral diseases, spread awareness about oral health in the country and come out with remedial action by forwarding recommendations to the Union Government to develop a healthy Oral Policy and its integration with the national Health Policy.

As a part of its campaign on All India Dental Wellness Initiative, IDA took the lead in organizing and conducting the largest ever All India Oral Health Survey (AIOHS), the first of its kind in the country, in association with Anchor. It is a National Epidemiological Study of Oral Health Problems in the country. The Survey which started in June 2007, in five states to begin with, viz., Chattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The Survey covered 40 cities 500 villages 5,000 schools and 120 government, public and private offices in the form of dental check up camps over a period of 45 days to assess the severity of the problems in dental health.

The Survey was aimed at creating greater awareness about the preventive measures and thus making a significant and quantifiable difference to the overall health of the nation. It has followed all international infection control protocols during check up and use of separate autoclaved instruments for each person.

A striking feature of the survey is the intimate involvement of dental professionals who took time off from their daily professional practices to devote to the cause of oral health. By visiting remote villages in their own respective states, holding camps and spreading the message of oral health, they have been instrumental in creating a sense of awareness of the importance of oral health in improving general health in the country.

Live. Learn. Laugh. Programme

The drive for behavioural change and inculcate good oral habits and night brushing in children, a project named ‘Live. Learn. Laugh.’ was unveiled in December 2006, the project is supported by Unilever’s Pepsodent brand. Low-income families received oral health education on importance of `tooth-brushing day & night’ and free dental screenings as many do not have access to dentist on a regular basis.

The programme was started in villages of Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu here low-income families received oral health education on importance of `tooth-brushing’ and free dental screenings was given. `Brush day & night’ campaign focuses on twice brushing and ultimately contribute to healthy teeth and mouths. Free samples of toothpastes and tooth brushes were given by Pepsodent, oral health cards and stickers were distributed.

Puppets were used to educate children and their parents about the importance of a healthy mouth. Simple skit and song along with audio-visual presentations have a lasting impression on the young minds and thus provide better results.

In India, most people believe that brushing in the morning is enough. But, germs build-up during day which leads to decay if the teeth have not been brushed at night. Therefore, the importance of brushing at night is highlighted among children.

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