Dr. Albert Akhidenor, a dentist, says it is proven that poor hygiene of pregnant mothers can lead to delivering premature babies and to low-weight babies.

Akhidenor, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Community Oral Health Initiative, an NGO, disclosed this in Abuja.

He said that mothers with poor hygiene could easily transfer diseases to their babies through kisses.

According to him, the oral health of mothers will directly improve the health of their newborn babies.

In addition, Akhidenor said poor nutrition could also cause poor oral hygiene.

“For the teeth to develop very well, you need a balanced diet.

“Diet filled with refined sugar and sweet is not healthy for the teeth. With poor diet, the whole formation of teeth is affected,’’ he said.

Akhidenor, however, expressed optimism that the 2020 National Oral Health Policy, formulated by the Federal Ministry of Health would address the burden of oral diseases in the country.

“An oral health policy helps to harness political, economic and socio-cultural factors at the individual, family, community, national and international levels.’’

He said that the policy would address poor access to oral care service if well implemented.

“By 2025, at least 50 percent of the population should be able to have access to oral care.

“We are looking at a situation where all the Primary Health Care Centres in the country will have a dentist by that time.

“We are looking at all women having anti-natal clinic, having access to oral care information.

“We are also looking at the situation where oral health education is included in science curriculum in schools so that children can be educated.’’

The 2020 National Oral Health Policy, which was validated by stakeholders on Dec. 17, 2019, will be ready before the next National Council on Health in June.

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