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An exercise that can’t be brushed aside

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Hands-on learning: A doctor teaches a group of children the right way to brush their teeth at a campaign in Chennai on Friday.
Hands-on learning: A doctor teaches a group of children the right way to brush their teeth at a campaign in Chennai on Friday.

Krishna Velupillai

On Friday, 15, 000 students gathered at Nehru Indoor Stadium to participate in a mass-brushing event

CHENNAI: The sight of thousands of children inside a sports stadium with toothbrushes in their hands and simulating the actions of proper brushing may border on the surreal, but it was nevertheless a genuine attempt to create awareness of dental hygiene.

On Friday, 15, 000 students from various schools in the city gathered at Nehru Indoor Stadium to brush their way into record books.

Speaking on behalf of the Indian Dental Organisation, the joint organisers of the event, one of its members Daya Ravindran said the sensation that it would create would be used to spread the word on oral hygiene. The campaign was organised in association with Karuna International, Chennai Kendra, which also celebrated ‘Karuna Day’ to spread the message of peace and non-violence.

Each student was given a dental health pack, which they used to simulate the proper brushing technique. Representatives of the IDA and dentists guided the students. The brushing was followed by a pledge to brush twice a day and maintain dental hygiene.

“We feel spreading the message of dental hygiene is vital as today’s children do not have healthy eating habits. They eat a lot of junk food and sweets. Due to excess pampering by parents, these unhealthy habits are also largely overlooked by parents,” said Dr. Daya. The feat of mobilising so many students could not have been an easy one. According to Dr. Daya it was possible only because both Karuna and IDA conducted yearly dental camps in schools and also promoted awareness among teachers. Following the brushing campaign, 125 dental students from various colleges conducted a mass screening programme of the students present. “It is just an attempt on our part to enter the Guinness and Limca Book of Records. We feel this would help us to create India-wide attention on this important topic,” said an enthusiastic Dr. Daya.

Records and brushing apart, the students no doubt appeared to have a good time; although some of the fun was coated with some ‘not-so-healthy-for-your-teeth’ ice cream.

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