Governor Ambode canvasses for more sensitisation on oral health
Lagos, March 18, 2016 (NAN) Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos state on Friday canvassed the need for more sensitisation on proper oral hygiene to prevent mouth related diseases.
Ambode, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, made the call at a 2016 World Oral Day event.
The event, which was organised by Unilever in collaboration with the Nigerian Dental Association, had as its theme “Brush Day and Night: Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body’’.
“The sensitisation is a way of teaching children oral hygiene which is essential to good health.
“The mouth is an integral part of the body and if you keep it clean, the body is likely to be clean.
“This is one of the ways to raise awareness of oral health; it is better to start right from children, because they will grow up with that culture in mind,’’ he said.
The governor said one of the problems of the mouth was due to not brushing and keeping the teeth clean.
Ambode said: “If you do not keep your teeth clean, you are going to have your teeth infected and it can cause holes and tooth ache.
“Then it can go through some blood vessels to other parts of the body.
“The essential thing is to keep it healthy and the best way is to brush twice daily and use tooth paste with flouride which helps to prevent caries.’’
The National President, Nigerian Dental Association, Dr Olabode Ijarogbe, said a lot of people in rural areas were still cut off from dental facilities and services which was a challenge.
“We use the World Oral Day to concentrate on reaching out to more people, particularly those in the grassroots.
“To let them know that the mouth is an integral part of the body and very important to take good care of it.
“And if that is not done, it will definitely affect the general body system,’’ he said.
Ijarogbe said that brushing twice daily, regular visits to the dentist and consuming wholesome diets would ensure good oral hygiene.
He said: “Generally, a lot of us have the habit of snacking on foods that contain refined sugar and the bacteria in our mouths tend to
feed on the remnants of these foods.
“This will result in a lot of damage including tooth decay and gum problems.
“The diet is an important part to our oral health and whatever we eat, we should be sure it will be of immense benefit to the body.’’
In his contribution, the Vice President, Unilever, Mr Robert Vreede, said that the company had reached over 1.8 million Nigerian school children since 2014 when the programme started.
Vreede said that the behaviour change programme was to improve the idea of brushing day and night to improve oral health.
“The plan is by 2020, we will have reached over 10 million Nigerian school children to teach them to cultivate the habit of brushing twice a day.
“Because it is only this way we are able to significantly reduce oral diseases and improve hygiene and health in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Oral Health Day is marked annually on March 20 to create awareness on the need to improve oral health to prevent diseases.