The Dental Health Preventation Program for Children in Ashkelon

Overview •

Keren Ashkelon runs a dental health information project for students in schools in Ashkelon and in kindergartens from the age of five up to the ninth grade. Anat Steiner, who is a graduate of the School of Dental Hygiene at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, and who is a resident of Ashkelon, heads this project.

Anat goes from school to school and with the help of presentations, short films, books, slides and worksheets, she teaches the children how to properly care for their dental hygiene. A dentist and an assistant accompany her to the schools and they carry out superficial examinations on the students.

To date, approximately 14,500 students have been checked and they have found that close to 45% of them suffer from decaying teeth and need treatment. Children in the low socio-economic stratum may have their teeth treated at the Lotus Fund Clinic in Beit Tzipora at the cost of 30 NIS.

According to Anat, the most significant form of treatment is "prevention": "After years of instructing children, I have come to know that when a child receives a step by step explanation of where and how the damage is created, and about the way to overcome it, he understands these explanations. I hope that the day will come that there will no longer be any children in our city with cavities, and not necessarily because they have had treatments, but rather because they are more aware."