Good Health Begins With a Healthy Mouth!
Keeping the mouth clean and free from disease is one of the most important things we should practice and teach our children. Maintaining a good oral hygiene not only enables children to look and feel good but also to eat and speak properly.
Oral diseases affect 3.9 billion people globally. Bad breath, gum disease, bacterial plague, tartar, severe carious lesion and toothache that can affect eating, sleeping, studying can have a direct impact on the wellbeing of the population. Despite the magnitude of its consequences, awareness of dental hygiene remain low in Africa. Central Africa, in particular, bares the heaviest burden due to poor budgeting policies and limited funding directed towards health and basic health practices. Many children do not own a toothbrush, some use the same toothbrush for more than 5 years and others have never seen or use toothpaste.
Children Home International carried out a mass sensitization campaign on dental hygiene in the refugee camps in Garoua-Bulai, in the villages in the East region of Cameroon and the Central Africa Republic to prevent tooth decay amongst children.
We made donations of toothbrush and toothpaste to children, demonstrated mouth wasting techniques and highlighted the following:
– Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride containing toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal especially before going to bed.
– Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners.
– Rinse daily with fluoride- containing mouthwash. Some rinses also have antiseptic ingredients to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
– Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacks. If you eat carbohydrates or sticky foods like chips, groundnut sweets (caramel) or candy, which can remain on the tooth surface, brush your teeth afterwards.
– Visit a dentist often and in case or any complications.
By Abosi Muma and Dr. Mwaha II Pierre