Bongo Children Undergo Oral Screening
Due to what experts say are high fluoride deposits found in the water-table in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region, people, mostly children, in that area have discoloured teeth, with some the condition is mild, while in others it is severe and disgusting.
The discomfort that comes with the condition is often written on the faces of those who suffer from it, as they find it difficult to smile with their mouth open. Even some find it difficult to open their mouth when speaking for fear of stigma should they expose their teeth.
The role oral health plays in courtship and in marriage, as well as social gatherings, cannot be overlooked. Instances have been given of where some marriages have torn apart, and some persons commit suicide due to the humiliation they suffered from their partners because of bad breath or halitosis.
The shame and discomfort associated with bad breath are not limited to adults only. Children, especially schoolchildren, too, face similar ridicule and rejection among their peers for having bad breath or discoloured teeth.
In its bid to address this condition, Eastwood Anaba Ministries has taken its oral health sensitisation initiative to the Gowrie community in the Bongo District, where experts say bad oral health is prevalent. There, hundreds of school children were screened.
Some of the children, who took part in the oral health screening, said they had often suffered stigma from their colleagues in school because of their discoloured teeth.
Some said sometimes they felt like withdrawing from school, while other lamented that they found it difficult playing with their colleagues during time break periods, because they were ridiculed.
The Vice President of the Eastwood Anaba Ministries, Rev. Mrs. Rosemond Anaba, observed that bad oral health had a damaging impact on the life of the person involved. She also warned about the dangers of oral hygiene, observing that oral health was an aspect of health many people took for granted.
According to her, bad oral health was connected to heart and other related diseases. She asked parents and teachers to act as dentists by periodically looking into the mouth of their children.
‘Always remember that you are the first and the last dentist. The first in the sense that you are the one who will detect that there is a problem, and the last dentist] because after you have visited the dentist, if you don’t follow the instruction, then it will not work,’ Rev. Mrs. Anaba stressed.
A Senior Oral Health Officer at the Builsa North District Hospital, Mr. Jonas Panwun, said bad breathe could be linked to poor lifestyles such as eating without brushing the teeth.
He, however, said some of the foods we eat now are so impregnated with chemicals such that, whether people brush their teeth or not, they are predisposed to bad breathe.
Mr. Panwun further explained that some of the diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and intestinal problems could also lead to bad breathe.
He cited examples of people committing suicide, others having broken marriages, while others had withdrawn from school because of the stigma they suffered from others due to bad oral health.
The children were also given both moral and oral health talks, and presented with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and miniature copies of the Holy Bible.
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