Utilization of Local Food in the Prevention of Dental Caries among the Elementary School Children in the Fishing Community
Yanti, Gema Nazri
Rochadi, R. Kintoko
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Introduction: There is a high incidence of dental caries in children and it is as high as 80% in the Bagan Serdang village of Pantai Labu Subdistrict, Deli Serdang Regency. It is a coastal village where the local economy is based on fisheries. Shrimp paste is also its main marine product. Investigation conducted by the Directorate of Nutrition, Ministry of Health indicates that the nutritional content in shrimp paste was high in calcium where 2306 mg of shrimp paste was equivalent to 16 times the calcium content of 100g of dietary milk. Calcium plays a role in the remineralization process to prevent dental caries. The aim of this study was to analyze the potential benefits of local food derived from shrimp paste in dental caries prevention among the school children in Bagan Serdang village. Methods: This preliminary study involves 85 school children aged between 8 and 12 old from public elementary schools in Bagan Serdang village. Caries risk assessment was evaluated using the Cariogram software, concentration of salivary calcium ion was measured using the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS), and calcium content of the shrimp paste was measured in the laboratory of Medan Industrial Research and Standardization Center (Baristand). Results: The Cariogram assessment showed that primary school children possessed high caries risk amounting to 54.12%. The concentration of calcium ion in saliva was found to be extremely low (0.75±0.32 mmol/L). Meanwhile, the results showed that the shrimp paste contained 1.54% (b/b) calcium, 11.7% (b/b) protein, 1431.5 mg/kg of phosphor and 0.40% (b/b) of total fat. Conclusion: Due to the high susceptibility of caries among the primary school children and low calcium concentration in their saliva, the highly available calcium-enriched shrimp paste can be used as a strategy to prevent dental caries among the school children in Bagan Serdang village.