By Solomon Odeniyi
A dental health professional, Mrs. Funmi Olatunji has warned against the use of herbal toothpaste, powder and chewing stick.
Olatunji stated that while the herbal toothpaste lacked fluoride, chewing sticks do not protect the teeth from bacteria.
According to her, most of the herbal products have abrasive substance that wears away the teeth with time, saying that they do not protect the teeth.
She said: “Using herbal products is like using sandpaper on a surface. They do not have fluoride, nor protect the teeth. That is why we don’t recommend them and chewing stick. The way we even use chewing stick is not the way we ought to.
“If you want to use one, soak it in water overnight. You chew and make a bristle of it. So it can get in between your teeth. We recommend you use a toothbrush afterwards; to be able to clean your gums, teeth and tongue. It protects bacteria and acids from penetrating the teeth. You noticed that people who use it alone have bad breath and many of them still have tooth decay.”
Olatunji urged people to take care of their oral health as it helps to improve the overall health.
According to her, “taking care of our teeth brings about improvement in our overall health. Many people don’t know that if you don’t take care of your teeth, it can lead to heart disease because our mouth is connected to it.
“The mouth, which houses our teeth, has the link to every part of the body. We have to see to our oral health. You must visit a dentist regularly.”
Olatunji advised the people to use toothpastes that have fluoride, as it is needed for the teeth to be strong.
“Keeping a good oral hygiene has to do with taking care of our tongue, teeth, gum. It is not new to us that we should brush teeth twice a day with a soft brush. Some of us think the harder we brush; the whiter our teeth. When you do that, you are damaging your gums. Brush with a soft, medium bristle brush; not with hard brush.”
She also warned against the use of tooth picks, saying it could damage the gums.
“We also advise people to desist from using tooth picks, it causes damages to your gum and it goes into your teeth, opens the space and pushes whatever particles that are there below and brings a small portion out. Floss can be used instead. Floss is of two types; the one with handles and the one with rope. The rope you clip it in between your teeth and whatever food particles in it are going to come out with the device”, she said.