A dentist, Dr. Adunola Oyegoke has underscored the ways in which Nigerians can give precedence to their oral health, thus fostering radiant smiles and ultimately enhancing their overall well-being.
Oyegoke conveyed this in an interview monitored in Abuja on Wednesday. She emphasised the imperative of brushing teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
“Brushing should be carried out for a minimum of two minutes, encompassing all tooth surfaces,” she stated.
Furthermore, she recommended the inclusion of flossing in daily oral hygiene routines to effectively remove plaque and food particles lodged between teeth.
She asserted that Nigerians should strive to attend dental check-ups and cleanings at least twice annually.
“Regular dental visits facilitate the early detection and prevention of dental problems, thereby ensuring optimal oral health,” she explained.
In accordance with her advice, maintaining a wholesome diet plays a pivotal role in oral health. Restricting the intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages can prove instrumental in averting tooth decay and enamel erosion.
“Instead, opt for a well-balanced diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins,” she advised.
Oyegoke went on to caution against the adverse effects of smoking and chewing tobacco, which can culminate in oral health complications such as gum disease, oral cancer and tooth loss. She emphasised that excessive alcohol consumption can similarly contribute to oral health issues, advocating for the judicious use of these substances to safeguard oral and overall health.
She counselled Nigerians to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day, highlighting that maintaining sufficient saliva production was pivotal for oral health.
“Saliva aids in dislodging food particles and neutralising acids, thus safeguarding teeth from decay.”
For younger members of the population, she stressed the significance of imparting knowledge about oral hygiene from an early age.
“Encourage proper teeth brushing, limit sugary snacks and beverages, and integrate regular dental visits into their routine. Nurturing sound oral health habits from an early stage allows children to grow up with robust smiles,” she recommended.
Oyegoke further emphasised the importance of heeding any shifts or irregularities in oral health, such as bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, lingering bad breath, or mouth sores.
“In the event of any concerns, seeking prompt dental care is of paramount importance,” she concluded.