A dentist, Dr Patricia Ayanbadejo, has recommended that Nigerians should be buying toothpastes with anti-bacterial agents to clean their teeth, saying they are better in preventing tooth decay, tooth sensitivity and gum problems.
Ayanbadejo, an associate professor of Dentistry, LASUCOM, speaking at the Continuing Medical Education Seminar organised for dentists and sponsored by Oral B in Lagos, stated that toothpaste with anti-bacterial content were helpful in preventing bacterial plaque which irritates the gums and can lead to gum disease.
The dentist, represented by Dr Modupeore Shorunke at the occasion which was organised in partnership with the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA), stated that plague-induced gum disease had become a problem globally.
According to her, “Currently, over 90 per cent of patients seen in our dental clinic have some degree of gum disease across all age groups and socio-economic status.
“Despite brushing every day, many people still find it difficult to maintain that level of plaque control that ensures that the gums are healthy. Just as fluoride is for prevention of tooth decay, so anti-bacterial toothpaste helps to kill the bacteria in plaque that causes gum disease.
“Plaque that causes gum disease hide in certain areas that the toothbrush might not get to, so the anti-bacterial toothpaste can deal with it.”
The expert named antibacterial agents in toothpastes to include Triclosan, stannous fluoride and Zinc citrate, saying that these substances also help in stain removal, breath freshening, preventing tooth sensitivity and ensuring that the mouth feels cleaner and healthier.
Ayanbadejo, saying that a bleeding gum was the foremost sign of a gum disease and without any prior injury to the gum, however stated that an effective plaque control was best achieved by brushing twice a day, daily flossing and two annual visits to the dentist for tooth scaling and polishing.
The expert, however, solicited support to further research into local plants such as bitter kola and local chewing stick (pako ijebu and orin ayan), saying that they were potential candidates for producing anti-bacterial toothpaste for gum disease prevention.
Dr Tayo Otubanjo, a Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Lagos Business School, in his lecture on “Winning Marketing Strategy in a Recessionary Economy”, said that the dental sector is generic, urging dentists to break the mould and ensure that each dental practice builds itself into a brand.
Otubanjo, who emphasised the need to give outstanding customer services, create loyalty programmes and appreciative events for their clients, added that “what customers need may not necessarily be in terms of the available product, but things like good quality reception and prompt attention at the clinic.”
Tolulope Adedeji, Brand Marketing Director, P&G Nigeria, stated that more work was needed to promote and ensure ample support for oral care hygiene of Nigerians, thus the company is planning the CME for dentists.
Adedeji, describing dentists as critical partner of the company’s toothpaste brand that was launched five years ago, said “the more dentists know, the better they also can give services to patients as they come.”
She added that “Oral B Mobile Dental Clinic Programme is to reach over two million Nigerians annually through its various free dental checks in the community.”