A non-governmental organisation, Health Education and Empowerment Initiative, HEDEN, has warned against poor oral hygiene, stressing that it is capable of causing other major health problems.
HEDEN’s executive director, Mrs. Folasade Ofurune, gave this warning at a programme organised by her group to sensitise the public, especially, students on the need to take oral hygiene serious.
According to Ofurune, some of the health problems which poor oral hygiene could lead to include digestive problems, oral cancer and bacterial infections.
She however stated that to prevent oral diseases, some measures could be taken.
The steps, she pointed out, included reducing sugar intake, stoppage of intake of tobacco and alcohol, consumption of fruits and vegetables and ensuring intake of balanced diet.
She added that to maintain good oral hygiene, the use of toothpaste with fluoride and the rinsing of the mouth very well after eating needed to be encouraged.
“60 to 90 per cent of school children all over the world have dental cavities which often cause pain and discomfort. Poor oral health can lead to other health issues such as digestive problems, pain, oral cancer, fungi, bacterial and viral infections.
“Poor oral health affects the confidence of the individual and it may lead to low self esteem.
“To prevent oral diseases, some measures should be taken. They are reducing sugar intake; eating fruits and vegetables; eating balanced diet, none intake of tobacco and prevention of the abuse of alcohol.”
Ofurune said with good oral hygiene, confidence is built in the individual and doors of opportunities are always open as such people socialise well.
She added that in order to ensure good oral hygiene, a toothbrush should not be used beyond three months, smoking should not be encouraged and visits to dentists should be done regularly.
Speaking about HEDEN’s Community for Health (C4H) Project, the executive director said the oral hygiene programme was organised for primary and secondary school students who are members of the Seeds of Hope Club.
According to her, the Seeds of Hope Club is a health and life skills project of HEDEN which it established in schools.
She said the programme which was to sensitise the public, particularly students, on the benefits of good oral hygiene had students of five schools as participants.