Tooth brush or chewing stick? – A Dentist’s advise

HealthFacts team had an interview with Dr Akeju, a practicing dentist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, [LUTH] Idiaraba Lagos.
Can we meet you?
I am Dr Olajide Akeju. I am a Dentist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH. A graduate of Dental Surgery from the University of Ibadan with a bachelor of dental surgery degree. I had my secondary school education at the federal government college Lagos.
For how long have you practicing
I’ve been in this field for over eight (8) and a half years now
What was your inspiration in becoming?
 Well, my mum was a nurse and I think I had enough episodes in and out of the hospital as a young boy to understand what good health was about. There wasn’t really much in the JAMB brochure at the time which interested me.
What are the common oral problems associated with Nigerians?
Nigerians present with diverse problems ranging from bleeding gums due to relatively sub optimal oral hygiene to tooth decay and then to oral tumors which may be benign or malignant.
What are the causes of dental problems?
A lot of things really, Poor oral hygiene can cause tooth decay as well as problems with the gums. Infectious organisms are also involved while some oral manifestations are due to undetected underlying medical conditions. Tumors may arise as a result of underlying genetic problems or the result of exposure to cancer causing elements.
What are the common home remedies that can be used to solve this problems?
It’s not advisable to rely on homemade remedies that go beyond a mix of warm water and salt to soothe gum problems. Many individuals are known to have used various substances that ended up being corrosive and detrimental to their health.
How many times can one have scaling and polishing in a year?
I think once or twice should be okay for a person to have tooth scaling and polishing in the cause of a year
How can we avoid sore throat in this harmattan season-
Ensure a clean and warm environment and undue exposure to dust and the colder weather.
How often should one brush per day- twice?
Mornings and evenings so one doesn’t forget. However, when one finds himself or herself consuming sticky and high sugar containing foods during the day it is advisable to brush soon after.
When do you think is the best time to brush, before breakfast, after breakfast, before bedtime/post?
it’s better to brush before and after meals
Based on evidence, could you advise the public on the benefits and disadvantages of using the popular traditional chewing sticks in comparison to the modern toothbrush.
No dentist would tell anyone not to use a chewing stick. There is an art to its use and as long as it is used efficiently there really isn’t any problem with it.
Thank you.