The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said that preventive care is always the best option for maintaining optimum oral health.
Dr Carol Iwuoha, Abia state Chairman of the association said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day Oral Health Outreach organised by the Abia chapter of NMA in commemoration of the 2019 World Oral Health Day in the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia.
The World Oral Health Day is celebrated globally every March 20 and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Say Ahh: Act on Mouth Health”.
She said that the theme was apt and would motivate people to take charge of their oral health by taking specific actions to prevent oral disease and safeguard their overall wellbeing.
Iwuoha said that studies had revealed that millions of people across the globe suffer from poor oral health, adding that the growing burden of the disease demanded action.
She described the event as an avenue to raise awareness about the dangers of poor oral health and encourage the practice of good oral hygiene.
According to her, the campaign will position oral health professionals as key stakeholders in educating patients on the wider implications of protecting their oral health.
“Helping them recognise that preventive care is always the best, but early detection and treatment are also crucial to ensuring best outcomes against oral disease and associated health complications. The campaign will also aim to secure commitment from policymakers to address the oral disease burden and integrate oral health into policies that address other diseases.”
Iwuoha said that the outreach had been organised for at least 300 students from different secondary schools across the state, with the aim of providing correct and adequate information on oral health.
In his speech, Dr Innocent Iwegbu, the state Chairman of Nigerian Dental Association (NDA), said that the condition of one’s mouth affected the health of the entire body and one’s confidence.
Iwegbu called on Nigerians to imbibe the habit of visiting a dentist at least once in a year, adding that the importance of one’s oral health could never be overemphasised.
The event featured free dental screening, lectures, question and answer sessions while free dental procedures will be offered to patients on March 21 in continuation of the celebration.