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  • ACRI

Reducing the Dental Health Program in Kindergartens

Following many complaints we received from parents of children in kindergartens regarding the reduction of the dental health program, we sent legal correspondence (Hebrew) to the Ministry of Education, together with Physicians for Human Rights. We sought to expand the program to the scope in which it operated in the past and to introduce it as a binding program in kindergartens.

The program was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Health, against the background of harsh data on dental morbidity among children in Israel. Thus, one study found tooth decay in 61.7% of the children examined, and another found that about 10% of preschool children suffer from severe tooth disease. In addition, a significant association was found between dental morbidity and socioeconomic status and belonging to various population groups, including the ultra-Orthodox, Bedouin and children of asylum seekers.

The dental health program included teaching children in kindergarten how to maintain dental hygiene, distributing toothbrushes and toothpaste, and applying fluoride. The program also dealt with detecting dental morbidity among children and reporting to their parents. In the past, the Ministry of Education supported the program and was a full partner in its leadership. However, beginning in 2022-2023, the Ministry began to create difficulties in the way of the operation of the program, reducing the number of staff entries to kindergartens and limiting their activities.  As a result, the volume of activity has greatly decreased. In our correspondence to the Ministry of Education, Attorney Tal Hassin argued that this is an arbitrary and unreasonable move that contradicts what is accepted in developed countries, violates the right of children to health and contradicts the Ministry's obligations towards the student population.  

The correspondence was written with the assistance of intern Yael Seidemann


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