By Oluwafunke Ishola
An NGO, United Way Greater Nigeria (UWGN), has conducted free dental screening for about 100 primary school pupils in Makoko area of Lagos.
The screening, held at Khan Foundation Junior Academy, Makoko, was done in commemoration of the National Children’s Dental Health Month.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Month, which is celebrated annually in February, is promoted by the American Dental Association (ADA).
NAN also reports that the month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health in children, their caregivers, teachers and parents, among others.
Zehra Talib-Emiko, Executive Director, United Way Greater Nigeria, said that the dental screening, done in collaboration with the Family Dental Care, Lagos and Khan Foundation, aimed at instilling and promoting healthy dental habits among primary school children.
“With millions of Nigerian children lacking quality dental care, resulting in cavities and gum disease, maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial to improving their overall health and livelihood.
“Over 95.6 percent of early childhood dental caries go untreated and as a result, affect crucial behaviours, such as a child’s ability to chew, smile and talk.
“Having healthy teeth and maintaining healthy oral habits will boost a child’s confidence and encourage positive participation in his/her education and social life, which enhances healthy lifelong patterns,” Talib-Emiko said.
She said that partnering with Family Dental Care Lagos, ensured that the children were given oral health talks on maintaining proper oral hygiene, while the dental personnel also performed dental screenings on the children.
“At the end of the assessments, each child got a dental care kit to help him/her practise the dental care techniques they were taught during the session,” she said.
Talib-Emiko said that the NGO hoped to reach out to more Nigerian children within the year and help then attain perfect smile through more dental health talks and screenings.
Also, Dr Hitesh Gangaramani, Chief Dental Consultant, Family Dental Care, Lagos, said that the organisation took it as a responsibility to educate the public on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and the relevance of healthy oral habits.
Gangaramani said that detailed examination and diagnosis were conducted on the students, with necessary treatment plans provided for oral hygiene and health.
She stressed that developing good oral hygiene was the first line of defence against common dental problems, such as plaque, tooth decay, gum disease and halitosis. (NAN)