Hongmin Lai
Assistant Professor, School of Dentistry, Taipei Medical University
SDL-13 (2019)

Hongmin Lai, DDS, MSD, MS

I started my periodontal practice in 1987 and faced the situation that people’s oral hygiene literacy was poor. Several members of the dental associations and I initiated a campaign of flossing and brushing for children about 10 years old in primary schools of Taipei city. Then it was brought to that of the whole country. For that campaign I designed the framework, prepared teaching materials and wrote up teaching guides. The first step is training a cadre of dentists who then coach teachers about oral hygiene. The teachers then teach school children by their education expertise. In addition to regular teaching, there is an extramural “oral hygiene contests” that consist of flossing and brushing techniques, plaque score test, dental knowledge, and posters shows. The goal is to build up oral hygiene literacy from children of this age. The long-term effectiveness of this campaign on reducing caries experience and periodontal problems was published in 2016.1From 2012 to 2016 I led a team of oral hygieneinstructors to several primary and secondary schools in Vietnam for oral hygiene promotion. The project is still going on.

I engaged in the 2007-2008 national survey of periodontal disease in Taiwan. It not only provided the prevalence and risk factors of periodontal disease but also revealed the heavy burden of the disease in Taiwan.2 While interdental cleaning is very important to oral hygiene and disease prevention, finger flossing is very much neglected and appears very difficult for most people. A fellow dentist and I invented a user-friendly tool for interdental cleaning. We hope this would help many people and resolve some problems of interdental cleaning.

  1. Lai H, Fann JC-Y, Yen AM-F, Chen L-S, Lai M-H, Chiu SY-H. Long-termeffectiveness of school-based children oral hygiene program on oral health after10-year follow-up. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2016;44:209-215.
  2. Lai H, Su C-W, Yen AM-F, Chiu SY-H, Fann JC-Y, Wu WY-Y, Chuang S-L,Liu H-C, Chen H-H, Chen L-S. A prediction model for periodontal disease:modelling and validation from a National Survey of 4061 Taiwanese adults. J Clin Periodontol 2015;42:413-421.