Some dental therapists on Saturday said high consumption of sugary foods, poor oral hygiene and the lack of adequate nutrition could affect the teeth.
The experts made this known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a two-day conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Dental Therapists Association (NDTA).
The conference had “Repositioning Dental Therapy Practice in Nigeria’’ as its theme.
Dr Simon Audu, the Secretary-General of NDTA, FCT zone, said that cavity, otherwise known as tooth decay was caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth.
Audu identified our causes to include frequent consumption of snacks and beverages, drinks that contain sugar, irregular and improper care of the teeth and the tongue.
He said, “the mouth is the only gateway to the body, if a person has bad oral health, it will affect the general health and well being of the body.”
According to him, regular dental visit, adequate nutrition and adherence to oral health hygiene will aid in the prevention of oral disease.
Mr Nwosu Chijioke, a lecturer at the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu, said that the NDTA conference was meant to discuss how to reposition Nigeria’s dental therapy.
Chijioke advised the public to go for a dental check-up twice a year, imbibe good oral hygiene and eat a balanced diet that would promote general health.
“People should go for a regular dental check-up at least twice a year, change toothbrushes often and eat right foods, especially those rich in fibre like mango, oranges and watermelon because they penetrate mouth spaces your toothbrush cannot reach,” he said.
He added that the association had embarked on advocacy visits to schools, Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp (IDPs), hospitals and communities.
He noted that the advocacy visits were to sensitise the public on good oral health, how to prevent dental diseases and appropriate treatments, where necessary.
He called on the media to continue to educate the public on measures that would encourage healthy living.