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Speech by Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food


Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong, at the Guinness World Record Attempt Making of the Longest Dental Floss Chain today (February 22):

Dr Lo, Dr Chan, Dr Lam, guests, friends and students,

I am delighted to be here today to witness your attempt to set a new Guinness World Record by making the longest floss chain in the world. By expanding this tiny piece of floss by several thousands times longer in just a matter of minutes, you not only have made a world record, but have also really revealed the beauty of this device which is small in size, but big in its role to play in maintaining our dental health.

According to the Hong Kong Oral Health Survey Report, gum disease has been the biggest threat to the oral health of the public. Almost 50 per cent of adults have irreversible level of gum disease whereas the remaining 50 per cent have a relatively mild condition which, if not treated early, may deteriorate. So we do need to pay attention to what we can do to prevent gum disease to maintain a healthy gum. Through the public education efforts of the Department of Health, dental practitioners and many of our good partners in the community, many people here, I believe, already know that an effective way to keep our gum healthy is to clean the adjacent tooth surfaces with dental floss. Surprisingly, only about 10 per cent of adults have developed the habit of using dental floss. It is really a worrying situation. Hence the aim of the activity today is to show you a fundamental step of using dental floss: tying it, and tie firmly. You should now also appreciate that it is just an easy step to take, and make it an everyday habit, starting from today. The earlier you have this good practice, the healthier the gum you may possibly have. I am glad to see that so many young students have participated in this challenge today. I am sure that the skill you master this morning will bring you lifelong benefits, and I urge you to advocate the practice of using dental floss to your family and friends, as an ambassador of dental health, and as a young world record maker.

I am grateful to the Department of Health which has further enhanced its efforts in raising public awareness on gum health, by launching the "Love Teeth Campaign". Under this campaign, a series of activities will be rolled out this year through different media channels, such as TV and the Internet. I hope, through all these efforts, you can get our message, which is simple and clear: love your teeth, as they are yours ever.

Thank you.

Ends/Sunday, February 22, 2004


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