20 March 2019

Cameroon: World Oral Health Day - How Is Your Mouth

Many people do not know how to care for their oral cavity, leading to various dental and health problems.

How often do you brush your teeth? When last did you change your tooth brush? Do you share your tooth brush with your partner? Before purchasing a tooth brush and tooth paste did you consult a dentist? These and many more, are the questions Cameroon Tribune sought to know amongst Yaounde dwellers as the world commemorates Oral Health Day, today, March 20, 2019. A random sample from the streets of Yaounde reveals that many people do not properly care for their mouths. Tresor Binzouly is one of those who happen to brush his teeth twice a day. Although dentists advice that a tooth brush should be changed after three months of use,

Tresor says he changes his tooth brush at times after six months and when he is on a trip out of home. This simply means that at times Tresor can spend a year using the same tooth brush. When it comes to buying a tooth brush or tooth paste, Mr Binzouly does not know that he needs to buy depending on his dental formula and medical needs. Just like Lea Albert and many others, Tresor Binzouly buys a tooth brush and tooth paste depending on what he finds in the market or according to publicity billboards.

Aureline Wati is another Yaounde resident who hardly consults a dentist and does not know she must brush her teeth after every meal. But in a bid to care for her oral cavity, she avoids sweets. With all the campaigns dentists carry out on proper dental care, Cameroon Tribune also gathered that many people do not even know how to brush their mouths. Some think using a chewing stick is the best method. Others jokily say they use alcohol or food to brush their teeth each morning. The World Oral Health Day is thus out to promote oral and dental health worldwide by calling on individuals to take preventive measures while raising awareness about the importance of oral hygiene.

Health experts say there are billions of bacteria living inside the mouth at any given time. Many of these bacteria build up as plaque, causing tooth decay (cavities) and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. For a healthy smile, individuals must practice good oral hygiene every day. Brushing after meals, using antimicrobial mouthwash, and flossing at least once per day will help to keep diseases causing bacteria from reproducing in their mouths, and causing tooth decay. And, healthy diets that minimize sugary and starchy foods also help to keep those bad bacterial under control

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