Over 50 per­cent of Nige­ri­ans have poorly ar­ranged teeth

Daily Trust - - HEALTH - By Ojoma Akor

Over 50 per­cent of Nige­ri­ans suf­fer from or­thodon­tic prob­lems or mal­oc­clu­sion sim­ply called poorly ar­ranged teeth.

Pres­i­dent of the Nige­rian As­so­ci­a­tion of Or­tho­don­tists, Dr Ifeoma Utomi dis­closed this yesterday in Abuja dur­ing the sen­si­ti­za­tion and den­tal screen­ing ex­er­cise of school chil­dren as part of ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­mote or­thodon­tic den­tal health in Nige­ria.

She

said

orthodontics

is

a spe­cialty area in den­tistry and to be an or­tho­don­tist, you have to be a den­tist first , af­ter bag­ging a den­tistry de­gree, you spend a min­i­mum of another four years do­ing post grad­u­ate train­ing, and the train­ing is only done in six teach­ing hos­pi­tals in the coun­try.

“An or­tho­don­tist is a spe­cial­ist that cor­rects mal-align­ment, or ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties of the teeth and the jaws. If your bite is not good or your teeth are crooked, or stick­ing out they are treated by or­tho­don­tists,” she said.

She said it is wor­ri­some that most peo­ple don’t know that some­thing can be done about it , or that treat­ment for it is avail­able in Nige­ria.

Flag­ging off the aware­ness ex­er­cise, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary of the Fed­eral Min­istry of Health, Mr li­nus Awute said there are only 39 reg­is­tered or­tho­don­tists for 170 mil­lion Nige­ri­ans , and the as­so­ci­a­tion has a lot of work to do in in­creas­ing aware­ness and ac­cess of Nige­ri­ans to or­thodon­tic care, in or­der to en­able the pop­u­lace live health­ier.

Rep­re­sented

by

a

di­rec­tor, den­tistry di­vi­sion of the min­istry, Dr Bola Alonge, he urged the as­so­ci­a­tion to sus­tain the drive for im­prov­ing oral health aware­ness among school chil­dren in Nige­ria.

He said the min­istry re­cently re­sus­ci­tated its school oral health pro­gramme which was flagged off by for­mer se­nate pres­i­dent, David Mark.

He said the na­tional health pol­icy has pro­vided the frame­work for the im­prove­ment of oral health ser­vices for Nige­ri­ans, and de­vel­op­ment of our heath sys­tem.

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