In Nigeria, dental caries is one of the dental problems, and is most common among young children and adults. This is due to the fact that they frequent eat sugary food, sweets and drinks which are known to be causes of this infection. According to the research done by many organization like WHO about oral hygiene practices in Nigeria, it was concluded that most of the people affected were from poor and average background. Theses researches were done mostly through questionnaires. The main questions asked were:
– What is oral health?
– Do they practice oral hygiene?
– Reasons as to why people clean their teeth.
– What causes tooth decay?
– How often they visit dentists for oral check up?
These questions were used as the main determinant of the results about the oral practices in the country. According to the answers from people interviewed, more than 50% knew that sugary foodstuff, soft drinks and juice causes tooth decay. Though research shows that over 80% of the population uses toothbrush and tooth paste to clean their teeth, only 50% had good oral hygiene.
Existing Levels of Oral Care
People living in urban areas had high levels of good oral hygiene as compared to those living in the rural areas. Many practiced the method of brushing their teeth after every meal using toothpaste while those in rural areas brushed only once and most of them used other methods other than the toothbrush like sticks. The study also observed that there is gender difference on the agreement fluoridated toothpaste is more important when it comes to dental carries prevention than tooth brushing techniques.
To fight against poor oral hygiene in Nigeria, specific training of preventing dentistry was introduced in all dental schools across the country. This course emphasizes on the importance of good oral hygiene, sugar consumption frequency, the importance of using fluoridated toothpaste and also using fissure sealants which prevents dental caries. This cause also emphasizes on the importance of brushing teeth daily. The natural health oral program also publicly advertises on good oral practices.
In conclusion, oral hygiene practices in Nigeria have a positive result unlike some years back. People have appreciated the practice of good oral health to prevent dental problems.