The Ogun government has created a Directorate of Dental Services to increase the residents’ access to oral health and ensure a uniformed administration.
Dr Tomi Coker, the State’s Commissioner for Health, made this known at a news conference, on Friday, in Abeokuta, to commemorate the 2021 World Oral Health Day, whose theme is: ”Be proud of your mouth”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Oral Day is observed annually on March 20, to raise awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene.
Coker said that the newly created directorate, which would be headed by Dr Yinka Elemide, would oversee the activities of dental services in the state.
The Commissioner said the establishment of the directorate was in line with the vision of the Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration of providing qualitative and affordable medical services for residents of the state.
According to Coker, no fewer than 3.5 million people globally are affected by oral health diseases, and that poor oral health hindered daily activities and interactions by family and friends.
Coker, who described the mouth as the window to the body, said, if proper hygiene was not observed, it might give rise to tooth decay and gum disease.
She further explained that poor oral health had been linked with a number of general health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, premature birth, lung disease, pneumonia, among others.
The commissioner stressed the need to invest in oral health by brushing one’s teeth twice daily with flouride toothpaste, replacing the toothbrush every three months and daily flossing to remove plaque.
She urged people to avoid tobacco and limit alcohol intake, while ensuring a balanced diet with limited sugar intake.
Coker also called on residents to visit the dentist regularly for a check-up and professional cleaning, early detection of likely issues, as well as to prevent any problems.
“The journey to good oral health starts from infancy by developing lifelong habits. Oral health goes beyond keeping the teeth and gums healthy. It extends to impacting the social life of every individual,” she added. (NAN)