Dental programs in Mexico

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In Mexico, a school-based caries preventive program was established in the 1970's in the State of Mexico; it was a pioneer program, and later in 1988 the program of salt fluoridation was implemented for the first time as a pilot program in the state. The program was carried out with technical support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and financial from W.K. Kellogg. Then, the salt fluoridation program is positioned as a nationwide policy in 1992. Because in the country there are five states and other municipalities with concentrations of fluoride in drinking water above the optimum amount, steps were taken to prevent consumption in these regions.

The preventive educational program developed in preschool and primary school nationwide currently includes various activities, constituted in the "basic scheme of oral health" prevention that consists of 14 applications of sodium fluoride 0.2%, 4 detections of plaque, 4 brushing technique instructions, 4 flossing instructions (from 8 years old) and 4 educational talks. All the activities are developed in every school year; in addition, there is a curative care program that is not always free.

Great efforts have been made for the abatement of oral diseases of highest incidence and prevalence and major achievements have been accomplished, but it is necessary to strengthen the activities implemented with the purpose to achieve caries-free communities program so the action 2001-2006 oral health includes in its coverage of 4 to 15 years of age (Secretaria de Salud, 2011).

In Mexico State, the coverage of preventive educational program is around 75%, yet there are limited healing care facilities for school children; only a few dental schools have these services available, and many times children are channeled to public institutions' clinics. The Autonomous University of Mexico State is involved in the implementation of the program as part of the training curriculum for students with some adjustments in regard to the educational component, and all other activities are performed according to the provisions of the educational program-including preventive fluoride 14 applications per year. This chapter includes the results of the incidence of caries within a 3 years follow-up of certain schools under the care of the University.

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