PRESS RELEASE – Statistics from the World Health Organization indicate that Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities. Dental cavities can be prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity.
Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups. Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, poor oral hygiene, and social determinants. Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.
As part of the oral health education strategies of the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, a Spelling Bee Competition among primary schools spearheaded by the ministry’s Dental Department has been organized for schools around the island.
Colgate and Peter and Company are the main sponsors the competition which is now into its 5th year, aptly dubbed Colgate National Dental Spelling Bee Competition.
At the formal launch of the competition Senior Dental Surgeon at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sherry Ephraim-Le Compte, acknowledged the sponsors for their unflinching support.
“Once again we have the opportunity to conduct the dental health promotion activity having received sponsorship from Colgate, Peter and Company and Paradise Water. These sponsors like us at the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have appreciated the efforts of the teachers and students in making this activity so successful over the years.
She highlighted a change to the spelling bee booklet this year’s competition with the inclusion of a few more technical terms used in dentistry.”History has proven time and time again that St. Lucia has exceptional spellers in the primary schools. Last year’s competition was proof as the students spelled nearly all of the words correctly. We had to go into our reserve words to serve as tie breakers on more than one occasion.
This year we have decided to include the reserve words from the start so the competition can be more competitive.”
Preliminary rounds of the Colgate National Spelling Bee Competition takes place throughout the month of November with the finals and prize givingceremony scheduled for early December 2015.