Kunle Idowu, Abeokuta
Ogun State government has established a Directorate of Dental Services in a bid to increase the accessibility of residents to oral health and ensure a uniformed administration.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, made this known while speaking at a press briefing held in commemoration of World Oral Health Day, with the theme: “Be proud of your mouth.”
Coker said the newly created Directorate, which is headed by Dr. Yinka Elemide, will oversee the activities of dental services in the state in line with the vision of the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government of providing qualitative and affordable medical services for all in the Gateway State.
She disclosed that nearly 3.5million people globally are affected by oral health diseases, pointing out that poor oral health hinders daily activities and interactions with family and friends.
Describing the mouth as the window to the body, Coker said that if proper hygiene is not adhered to, it might give rise to tooth decay and gum disease, adding that poor oral health has been linked with a number of general health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, premature birth, lung disease and pneumonia, among others.
The Commissioner, however, emphasized the need to invest in oral health by brushing teeth twice daily with flouride toothpaste, replacing the toothbrush every three months and daily flossing to remove plague.
Coker, who urged people to avoid tobacco and limit alcohol intake, called on residents to visit dentist regularly for a check-up and professional cleaning to prevent any problem and early detection of likely issues, adding that balanced diet and limited suger consumption.
“The journey to good oral health starts from infancy by developing lifelong habits. Oral health goes beyond keeping the teeth and gum healthy. It extends to impacting the social life of every individual,” she said.