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Project Details

Vietnam Tooth Project

photo of girl brushing teeth under Vietnam Tooth Project
Project Summary: 

The Vietnam Tooth Project (VTP) is based on interventions piloted in Central America and currently being replicated in Nepal and Vietnam. These projects address the serious problem of early childhood tooth decay, or dental caries—the most prevalent and, arguably, the most neglected infectious disease worldwide, affecting 50-95% of young children under age 6 in many developing regions.
VTP had its first trip to apply fluoride varnish and conduct oral hygiene lessons in four kindergartens in Central and Southern Vietnam in June, 2011. The project team is developing an oral health/nutrition toolkit and establishing key partnerships with NGOs, government agencies, and dental and public health universities. Our team will provide training and technical assistance to local groups that will implement the ongoing intervention and will conduct an evaluation over the next 3 years.

Watch a video about the project here

In 2016, the Global Children's Oral Health and Nutrition Project was featured in a special report by Scientific American: The Future of Oral Health.  

The Global Children's Oral Health and Nutrition Program was also covered here

Tax-deductible donations can be made online hereOr send a check payable to "UC Berkeley Foundation" notated to "Vietnam Tooth Project Fund." Mail to: UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Office of External Relations, 417 University Hall #7360, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Policy, Practice or Research Impacts: 

The critical link between a rapidly changing diet and tooth decay and malnutrition is a link not previously drawn. The application of fluoride varnish as an “immunization-like” dental intervention to protect young children against severe tooth decay will help prevent the adverse impact of dental caries on children’s health. Early childhood tooth decay is a growing problem, caused by several factors, including the increased consumption of sugary foods and drinks, poor tooth structure from prenatal/early childhood malnutrition, and plaque from lack of tooth brushing. Severe tooth decay can result in chronic inflammation, mouth pain, inability to eat, malnutrition, decreased education and economic productivity, and early mortality. This project replicates a very affordable solution.

Contact Person: 
Susan Ivey
Contact Person's Email Address:
Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley
Principal Investigators: 
Professors Susan L. Ivey, MD, MHSA; and Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, MD, MPH
East Meets West Foundation, University of Medicine and Pharmacy-Ho Chi Minh City, Han for Hope Charity, Harvard-Westlake School
Mr. Dong Chung, Mrs. Hui-Zhen Feng, Mr. Raymond Chung of Arcadia, CA;
Academic Opportunity Fund and Public Service Fund of the ASUC;
Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship;
UC Pacific Rim Research Initiative;
Health Research for Action;
The Bernhard Family Trust;
and donations of dental supplies from Sunstar, Colgate, Global Grins, and private dentists and individuals.