Why it's important to observe mouth hygiene

Root cavities occur when gums recede and the roots are left exposed.

In Summary
  • Visit the dentist regularly for a check-up.
  • Use the right toothbrush and toothpaste.
Woman brushing her teeth./COURTESY
Woman brushing her teeth./COURTESY

Tooth cavities are damaged areas in the hard surface of the teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes.

They are also called tooth decay or caries.

We have three types of tooth caries.

Smooth surface cavities occur due to a lack of cleaning the teeth well.

Pit and fissure cavities it is mainly caused by stuck food and poor mouth hygiene, most commonly on the back teeth.

Root cavities occur when gums recede and the roots are left exposed. 

According to Doctor Protus Murathi a dentist, he said that oral hygiene is very important to teeth health and individuals should practice brushing their teeth regularly.

Murathi added that if you take so long without brushing your teeth, the bacteria can attack them leading to cavities.  

"I recommend you brush your teeth before sleep because food consumed during the day will produce acid at night," Murathi said.

"Females tend to have more cavities than males."

People should avoid taking sugary, starchy foods and drinks because the bacteria in the mouth turns carbohydrates into acid.

"Smoking is also a factor in teeth caries one should avoid smoking if possible," Murathi said. 

Murathi advises that people should avoid taking food with highly concentrated salt because it can also lead to cavities.

"Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups also helps to stay healthy," he said

He added that if one experiences mouth pain, bleeding gums, and toothache, they should visit the dentist for a check-up.

The Ministry of Health launched the National Oral Health Policy 2022-2030 and the first National Oral Health Strategic Plan 2022-2026 in June last year.

The five-year strategic Plan will guide the implementation of the policy aimed at improving the oral health status of Kenyans.

An oral survey conducted in the country in 2015 revealed that one in every two children aged five years suffers from tooth decay.

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