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Poor oral health cause children low self-esteem, underdevelopment, says report


Children with poor oral health are nearly twice as likely to find it difficult to socialise with others, The Hidden Impact of Oral Health on Children’s Lives Global Report has revealed.

In the first-ever global study on the wider impacts of oral health on children’s lives, Pepsodent Toothpaste has produced evidence that the quality of a child’s oral care has repercussions beyond just health.

The report, which was released as part of the brand’s annual World Oral Health Day celebrations, also found that tooth decay and other oral health diseases could cause a knock-on effect on children’s potentials.

According to the report, children with poor health do not just suffer bad breath, cavities and pain; poor oral health in childhood also causes hidden damage, which limits their overall potential during education and beyond.

It is based on new research commissioned as part of the brand’s ongoing mission to actively improve oral health for children and adults worldwide.


Speaking on the benefits of oral health for children, Head Dentistry Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Bola Alonge noted, “Oral care puts tooth decay and other oral diseases in check just as it helps to boost children’s potential and make them participate actively in academic and extra-curricular activities.

“Children’s well being should be handled with a sense of purpose; thus it is vital to make them appreciate oral hygiene from a tender age. This will help to protect their future.”

Speaking on the research, a renowned dentist with the Blanche Dental Clinic, Dr Timi Akinmuda, said, “Children who do not go for routine checkups are twice as likely to experience pain. Most children’s dental visits are for oral health problems, not check-ups, thereby contributing to their linking dental checks to anxiety.

Most parents and children also claim to brush twice daily, but some parents occasionally ‘reward’ their children with skipping brushing. These children are more likely to suffer from pain. We must, therefore, instil the importance of habitual and proper brushing twice daily”

Also commenting on the research findings, Category Manager (Oral Care), Unilever Nigeria Plc, Toluwaleke Salu said, “The report makes a compelling, evidence-based case that a child’s oral care has a link with self-esteem.

“Parents should, therefore, take their children’s oral health seriously by ensuring their children brush twice daily regularly to prevent the repercussions.”

She added, “Ultimately, Pepsodent Toothpaste has been able to prove the impact of oral care on a child’s confidence and sense of self-worth by showing that a healthy smile takes you further.”

On why the research was carried out, Brand Manager, Pepsodent Unilever Nigeria, Feranmi Muraina, said: “We believe this evidence offers the society new, more compelling reasons to pay attention to brushing their teeth and can drive real behavioural change around prevention, not firefighting when it comes to oral health.”

Pepsodent is a brand of Unilever Nigeria, Pepsodent Toothpaste promises the power of three kinds of toothpaste in one and protects the whole family against cavities.

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