As the world oral health day was marked globally, the theme was “Say Ahh, Think mouth, Think health’.
The day was first launched by world Dental Federation an international oral health advocacy group based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The day is an annual public health and awareness campaign for supporting the improvement of oral health all over the world. It is celebrated on March 20 every year.
The campaign was initiated on September 12, 2007 but later to March 20, 2013. The date was chosen to reflect that the elderly should have a total of twenty natural teeth at the end of their age.
On the other hand children should have 20 deciduous or baby teeth to be considered healthy.
Tooth decay also known dental carriers is the most common oral health problem. Other notable oral diseases include gum disease and fluorosis.
Others are Oral Mucosal Lesion and tooth wear.
The first national oral health survey released in November 2015 showed that about 30 percent of the population aged 65-74 years in Kenya do not have natural teeth.
Most of these oral diseases can be prevented if oral hygiene is given a priority.
Caring for the mouth
Keeping your mouth hygiene entails several ways but the most important is paying a visit to the dentist regularly so that when you get some of the oral conditions, managing and treatment becomes easy.
Visiting a dentist at least twice in a year is highly recommended.
When it comes to brushing the teeth, use the right toothbrush with soft bristles. The toothbrush should be replaced after two or three months or when you notice bent bristles.
When the bristles become blunted, they may cause injury to the teeth or the gum.
Brushing the teeth daily is not enough. Using the right toothpaste and at least twice a day is what will leave your mouth healthier.
After brushing, flossing to remove the food particles between the teeth should be carried.
What we consume daily will also determine our oral hygiene.
Sugary foods greatly contribute to tooth decay especially in young children. Sugar free foods are the best to take.
Smoking cigarettes is also another problem to our mouth not only for the bad breath it leaves in the mouth but also for the colouring of the teeth. The nicotine produced in the mouth can lead to mouth cancer.
The percentage of unmet dental treatment needs among the adults and the children population is very high.
Shockingly, only a small proportion seek dental treatment and the majority do so only when there is pain or discomfort in their mouths or teeth.
This is as per the Kenya National Oral Health survey by the ministry of health in the year 2015.
By Joseph Macharia