Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Hope for Nakuru Residents Over Stained Teeth

The problem of teeth becoming a stained brown is a common problem among Nakuru residents/MUTHONI NJUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 - Fifteen year-old Kevin Muriithi was only seven years when his teeth started discolouring. He lives in Kaptembwa estate in Nakuru.

His parents thought his teeth were turning brown as a result of eating a lot of sugary foods.

"When my teeth started becoming brown, we thought it was due to sweets and I stopped. But it continued and I was told by a dentist that sweets don't make teeth brown," Kevin, a standard eight pupil at Ngata primary School, explains.

The teenager can hardly remember having white teeth.

But he is not alone.

Twenty-three year-old Teresia Kwamboka also suffers the same problem. She too lives in Kaptembwa. All her teeth have become stained and this has made her suffer low self esteem. Although she has a beautiful smile, she is too embarrassed to show her teeth.

"There are people who came here and told me there is a medicine they are giving out and when you use it the teeth become white but I decided to stay the way I am because I may use that and then it becomes worse," she explains.

Teresia's teeth also developed the problem when she was very young.

At first, she was made to believe by people around her that her teeth had become brown because of eating roasted potatoes, a common myth in the area.

The problem of teeth becoming a stained brown is a common problem among Nakuru residents.

"Because of the chipping, the teeth look stunted, they look short, they look brown; some can go to the level of being black and they will continue breaking down to the root level so for that a person can't smile and can't chew well," she explains.

Emma Wainaina, a dental surgeon at Dentplan says Kevin and Teresia's problems are as a result of consuming water with high fluoride levels which is common in Nakuru.

She explains that they now suffer from what is known as dental fluorosis, characterised by discoloration of teeth which sometimes become weak and start chipping.

"Because of the chipping, the teeth look stunted, they look short, they look brown; some can go to the level of being black and they will continue breaking down to the root level so for that a person can't smile and can't chew well," she explains.

The water that is supposed to give life and good health has turned to be water of shame for these residents.

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