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Unchecked oral health disease can lead to death — EXPERTS

…As Pepsodent kicks off World Oral Health Day celebration

As the world rolls out  the drums to mark this year’s World  Oral Health Day, with the theme: Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health, experts have decried poor public awareness on oral hygiene, warning that oral health disease left unchecked can lead to major negative health consequences, including death.

They also maintained that individuals must understand that good oral health is much more than a nice smile as it can impact every aspect of life including ability to perform basic functions.

Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole

In his submission at a press conference organised by the Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, in partnership with Unilever Nigeria Plc weekend, in Lagos, the President of NDA, Dr. Olabode Ijarogbe, who observed that poor public awareness on oral hygiene was seriously affecting dental care in Nigeria, regretted that simple things like daily oral hygiene using fluoride toothpaste are not yet a common practice in Nigeria.

Ijarogbe said individuals must avoid risk factors such as tobacco, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets especially those rich in sugar.  “Avoiding these risk factors not only helps protect oral health but prevent other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.”

He announced that for this year’s oral health day celebrations, the NDA will be organising a week-long activities including health awareness walk, dental outreaches in rural communities, while the grand finale would hold on March 20, 2018 at the Union Bank Sports Hall, Surulere Lagos.

Speaking on the activities for the year, the marketing director, Unilever Ghana Nigeria, Bunmi Adeniba said: “This year, we will be focusing on creating awareness on tooth decay, currently the most widespread, chronic disease in the world, that affects three out of five children, and almost all adults. Tooth decay can be prevented and avoided through good oral hygiene practices, and increased support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programs.”

“From inception till date, Pepsodent has reached a total of 3.5 million children with its Brush Day and Night Schools Programme. “In 2018, we intend to directly reach 1.5 million school children with our products and educational materials.

This year, we’ll also be enlisting Nigerian youths as oral health advocates, who will take the message of good oral health to their communities. Our vision and commitment is to improve the oral health of 10 million Nigerian children by 2020 through the Pepsodent Brush Day & Night Schools Programme,” she concluded.

Speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Director/Head of Dentistry in the ministry, Dr. Bola Alonge, noted that the World Oral Health Day is celebrated every March 20 globally to educate the public on the benefits of a healthy mouth and create awareness on issues surrounding oral health, and to promote oral hygiene among people.

Alonge commended the initiative, saying that the partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health and Unilever will help deliver optimal oral health care in the country.

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