Experts have said that many Nigerians have poor awareness on oral hygiene and available services that can help them avoid dental diseases.
The experts made this known when members of the Commander 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba, NARHY, took to the street of Lagos in a march to mark 2017 World Oral Health Day with the rest of the world.
According to FDIý World Dental Federation, a consortium of dentists all over the world, 3.9billion people around the world suffer from oral diseases.
One of the experts at NARHY, Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Lt. Col Blessing George, explained that many Nigerians are not aware that the mouth needs to be healthy for their whole body to be healthy.
“Imagine when there is a pain in your mouth, you cannot swallow; you cannot chew, what kind of life is that when you cannot eat what you have laboured to acquire? So, to be able to enjoy what you have laboured to acquire, you need to “Live Mouth Smart,” Lt Col George who is also Head of the Dental Department, NARHY, said during the dental walk.
She observed that the essence of the walk and awareness talk is for people to realise that they need to be healthy in their mouth before the whole body can be healthy.
“Nigerian Army Medical Corps has decided to key into today as an occasion to enlighten the public that the mouth is the gateway to the whole body as the theme of this year’s celebration says, “Live Mouth Smart.”
”We are trying to let the world know that just like in the world today we are having smartphones, we should ‘live mouth smart.’ This is because when you are smart in mouth hygiene, you would be able to know whenever there is any problem in the mouth for there to be early diagnosis.
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“In fact, our aim is prevention; prevention of oral diseases that can cause problems to the whole body. When the mouth is smart, it means the whole body is smart. So if we are smart in mouth hygiene, it means that we are able to obey the rules like, brush twice a day – after breakfast and the last thing at night. It also means we visit a dental clinic twice a year for checkup, professional scaling and polishing which will keep the mouth healthy.
“We should always have oral health check during which so many diseases in their body can be discovered, because so many of them manifest in the mouth before they even show in the body.”
Speaking at the event, Brig Gen Nathan Okeji, Commander, NARHY, who is also Chief Consultant, obstetrician and gynecologist, said: “There is every need for us to take care of our mouths to protect ourselves from germs and some diseases.
“The relevance of this walk we are taking today is to sensitise people who are unaware of the importance of taking care their mouth, especially the teeth and other things in the mouth. At least as we are walking along with this kind of demonstration, they will want to know what is going on. That is a window of opportunity to explain to them. And . creating this awareness people will know the importance of taking care of their mouth,” Brig Gen NAE Okeji said.
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