By Keturah Aapu, RA 2017 Young Leader                          

Many questions come to mind whenever I visit the dentist. Many times I ask myself; “What are all these children doing here? Can I call this irresponsible parenting? Or “Are these dentists here to make money, solve or create the problem?”

See, we are always advised to visit the dentist at least every six months or twice a year or so if I’m not mistaken. However, seeing the dentists’ 6 times or more in one year got me thinking otherwise; “How much am I willing to spend on a health issue I could have easily averted?” Because clearly I had slack on being the health freak that I think I am.

Dental procedures are expensive without a doubt. The earlier we acknowledge that we contribute most towards our dental problems, the quicker we should move towards safeguarding ourselves.

What causes dental decay? You maybe asking.

It is really unfair that ignorance always gets to be blamed for most of our shortcomings. In this era of technology where you can easily self-diagnose before meeting a doctor, it’s unfortunate.

As a child, you need a certain amount of sugar in your body to keep up with your daily activity. But misusing sugar always comes right back to haunt you in your older years. Sugary foods are a source of bacteria and this feeds the bacteria in our mouths. These have damaging results to our teeth if we care not to brush after meals.

Dental checkups are one of those most dreaded because, approximately seven in 10 individuals are afraid of these checkups. But if you stay away from the dentist, you only call for tooth defects. I’ll usually refer to my dentist as a prophet of doom; after his routine examination, something would always come up, requiring for another or other dental visits. The dentists are only here to help you strike a healthy balance between prevention and restoration.

We are advised to brush our teeth at least every after a meal but this is impossible if you don’t suffer from a cleanliness related OCD. The most an average “health freak” individual would brush their teeth is twice a day; at day break and before going to bed. Countless are the times I go to bed without brushing my teeth, reason being I’m too tired to do so.

The good news is tooth decay is preventable.

Dentists will always give you the sufficient advice on how to protect your teeth. From simple things such as; not eating very hot food, changing your toothbrush every three months and using dental floss instead of toothpicks. Following these instructions will save you expenses that come from irregular dental visits.

I think we should regulate our amount of sweets’ intake as early as 8 years, because when permanent teeth ought to be catered for well when they set in. As you grow older, you should regulate the amount of sugary substance you take in and when to have it. At this age, I sit back after all these expensive dental procedures and think; “was all this worth it?”

Ultimately, our attitude towards our oral health needs to change. Just as the eyes are windows to the soul, so are our mouths the door to our bodies. Parents should watch their children’s diets and individuals should follow the dentist’s advice.

Health is truly wealth. The more care you put in your day to day wellness, safeguarding yourself from unhealthy habits, the more you’ll be able to save up and save yourself from adverse health complications in the future.


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