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Marking World Oral Health Day

I was that girl that looked forward to exams for the proof they presented that yes indeed, I’d been a good student. I know, I’m the worst. Unfortunately for me post school life doesn’t present as much chance for tests and that ilk of evaluation that is why I take my fix anyway I can get it. Enter health check-ups. Web MD is good and all but nothing beats a good old black and white print declaring a clean bill of health. So when UGBLOC asked for volunteers to get their dental health assessed on 20th March and blog about it for World Oral Health Day, guess who was first on the line? Me of course. No prizes for guessing that.

Getting in the hot seat
All ready for my assessment

I’m sort of a clean living enthusiast; organic foods, homemade snacks, natural beauty products, the works. I brush daily, twice if I can manage it, gurgle with Listerine, and floss on occasion (I’ve never managed the 21 days straight required to make the habit stick). Once in a while I use coconut oil for mouthwash and brush with bentonite clay. Not always though, some foods just demand good old toothpaste. I don’t smoke, hate sweets and tea, don’t add sugar to my juice, and almost only drink soft drinks in social settings. What’s more, I drink 2 litres of water daily. In short I was pretty confident about having someone poke around my mouth as 3 or so bloggers looked on and live tweeted.

The assessment started off well. As I’d guessed my lifestyle of water drinking, snacking on fruits and nuts, and abstaining from smoking presented me as low risk for cavities. Hurray! *Pats self on back.* All the self-congratulations.

Then Dr Steven Mugabe, the on duty dentist at Code Clinic for this session, pulls out his tools and gets to work. A couple of pokes on my fillings (souvenirs from my junk food loving school days) – they’re good and holding. No dry mouth or sores. Good good. Then the bombshell. I had tartar build up on my lower incisors. He holds up a mirror so I can get a good look too. Uh oh. Off colour crusty growth that despite my flossing I hadn’t managed to budge in a while. So much for my clean bill. In addition to looking incongruous and messing up the wattage of my smile, tartar puts me at high risk for gum disease. It causes the gum to peel back such that more of the tooth is exposed. It looks as bad as it sounds, believe me.

Having belated second thoughts
Getting belated second thoughts about this…

Lucky for you and I, this is easily remedied by biannual professional cleaning. Dr Mugabe admitted that its actually common place as the only way to prevent tartar build up is by getting your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months or so. Which, given most people’s fear of that dentist’s chair, seldom happens. Just so we’re clear, no amount of coconut oil swirling and bentonite clay gurgling will prevent this, simply schedule your twice annually dental checkup and let the professionals do the rest.

And at the very affordable rate of 100,000 UGX per session at Code Clinic, this is a small price to pay for a pretty smile.

Lord knows I plan to do this religiously, I have no intention of being referred to as long in the tooth before my 75th born day.

And if you’re feeling fancy you can get the teeth whitened too while at it. This is specially appealing to brides-and-grooms-to-be. Gotta have those pearly whites gleaming to match the gown, right? Code Clinic offers 3 teeth whitening packages; A take home package for 650,000ugx , and in-house whitening session for about 900,000ugx , and a combo of the two for those with really dark teeth. They also whiten individual teeth at 200,000ugx. You know, that one tooth that just doesn’t blend with the rest as if you stole it rather than grew it in your mouth? Yeah, that one. They can make it match.

Other services offered include dentures – replacement teeth for chipped or missing teeth. The clinic is equipped with a state of the art CADCAM (Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacture) which ensures quick natural looking results. Basically a camera captures the area to be treated and the dental prosthesis is then created as a 3D model on the computer, this restoration is subsequently milled from a ceramic block to the exact fit and the finished implant is inserted a little while later. No need to put up with that slow hand molding stuff, we’re in the digital age here.

CADCAM
CADCAM

If you’re not sure which services you need, a quick consultation will help. For just 30,000ugx, you can have the lovely experience I just did of laying supine with your mouth hanging open and have a few prods and pokes. Code Clinic is located at Kenneth Dale Drive and if that’s out of your way, Uganda has 300 registered dentists, that’s about 1 to every 170,000 people.

The dentist registry is available at www.undpc.com. Now you know, don’t be like some local TV stations whose consultants are quack dentists, you’ll only have yourself to blame. In the meantime, take intentional steps towards a healthier lifestyle such as meal planning, home made snacks for the kids, and proper hydration.

Until next year, Happy World Oral Health Day! (That’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it?)

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