Some dentists on Wednesday urged people to reduce consumption of sugar and ensure regular brushing of their teeth to prevent dental diseases and tooth decay.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos ahead of the 2014 World Oral Health Day (WOHD).
NAN reports that the day is celebrated internationally on every March 20.
The 2014 theme is: “Celebrating Healthy Smiles’’.
A dentist, Dr Olojede Olurotimi, said that periodontal diseases and dental caries were the two major oral health problems, while others include misaligned teeth, dental fluorosis and oral cancers.
Olurotimi, who is also the President, Nigerian Dental Association, said that poor oral hygiene, among other factors, could lead to oral cancer being the eight most common form of cancer.
He called for the development of sustainable strategies as a national preventive and therapeutic oral health services.
Another dentist, Dr Femi Ojo said, “there is no barrier to dental diseases as everyone can be affected, that is why oral hygiene has become a critical issue.’’
“Recent statistics show that about 90 per cent of the world’s population will suffer from oral disease in their lifetime, ranging from caries, periodontal diseases and tooth decay to oral cancer.
“Only 60 per cent of this population enjoys access to oral healthcare.
“It is even worse in Nigeria because of lack of appropriate awareness and adequate dental healthcare services,’’ Ojo who works at Crystal Dentistry, Surulere, Lagos, said.
“ Keeping our teeth clean requires personal and professional hygiene.
“On the personal, one needs to brush properly and regularly twice a day, morning and night.
“It is necessary to brush at night because, with all the edibles during the day, there is going to be a lot of sediment on your teeth overnight, if one doesn’t brush.
“We consume diet that is high in sugar and fat and that makes it very important to brush.
“The professional cleaning is important because no matter the amount of tooth brushing and use of chewing stick, some sediment will be left behind and we need to remove these.
“Bacteria can settle on the teeth and gum for too long, and it will act on the food debris,’’ he said.
Bakare urged people to visit their dentists or dental hygienists for professional care at least twice a year