The Vice President of the Nigerian Dental Association, Olufunmilayo Asiwaju, has asked Nigerians to maintain good oral hygiene by cultivating the habit of brushing their teeth twice daily.
She stated this while presenting a paper titled, “The Global Burden of Poor Oral Health,” at the 35th Annual Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria held in Enugu.
Mrs. Asiwaju said brushing the teeth only once in a day as most Nigerians do was not healthy.
Mrs. Asiwaju, who is a Consultant Paediatric Dentist, said oral disease poses severe economic and social burden to many countries and that if not tackled, could result to pain, abscess, tooth loss, loss of self-esteem, poor quality of life and sometimes death.
She asked the federal government to strengthen pharmacy practice in the rural areas as a way of getting better awareness for oral health.
The dentist urged Nigerians to visit dentists and eat healthy as the remedy for poor oral health.
Speaking at the event, a Brand Manager with Unilever Nigeria Plc, George Umoh, said the company was committed to doing business in a sustainable way and that it was the reason it partnered with Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, federal government and other relevant bodies to strengthen pharmacy practice in the community.
He said that 90 per cent percent of the world population suffer from oral diseases and that through the oral health school programme Unilever had so far educated directly over two million Nigerian children to imbibe the culture of brushing twice daily.
“We believe children are change agents. They have the will power to influence their parents, siblings and people around them by telling them to take their oral health seriously,” he stated.
Mr. Umoh recounted that earlier in the year, Unilever partnered with the Nigerian Dental Association, Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant organisations to celebrate the World Oral Health Day and promote awareness of issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene in Nigeria.
He said the long term goal was to improve the oral health of 10 million children in the country by 2020 through Brush Day and Night Schools programme.
He stressed that the company was targeting one million children in 2016 alone.