Did you know that a visit to a dentist for a general check-up is just as important as focusing and consulting on your overall body? The mouth is essentially the gateway to your entire health and well-being, problems in your mouth may not necessarily be as a result of causes constrained in your mouth only. This is why this Youth Month; The Village Mag is in conversation with Mrs Sabina Kgwahla-Nyakale, a young dental therapist to learn more on this topic.
Some harmful bacteria’s may enter your body through the mouth well into your digestive and respiratory systems, the coronavirus pandemic made millions of people to realize the importance of oral hygiene especially with the wearing of masks, many have realized that they have bad breadth. Ideally we need to visit a dentist at least twice a year, meaning once every six months. In these tough economic times not everyone can afford to visit a dentist at a private practice, fortunately every public hospital has a dedicated oral/dental section that members of the community may visit.
The month of June will always have a significance in the South African politics, the youth of 1976 were massacred by the apartheid police for standing up against the system that oppressed black African people. It is therefore imperative that this month and in fact in everything we do as the youth of today commemorate and remember that this freedom was hard fought.
The purpose of good oral hygiene in human beings is the removal or prevention of formation and build-up of harmful bacteria’s and plague in our mouth and other dental structures such as gums and teeth. Growing up in Marapyane; Sabina Kgwahla-Nyakale is a dental therapist, she works with the prevention and management of oral health diseases. She is a young professional in the medical profession who enjoys and mostly passionate about teaching the young ones on the importance of good oral hygiene. When one fails to take care of their dental health they are then prone to loss of teeth and in some instances develop long term diseases such oral/mouth cancer. Furthermore, with every tooth you lose this inadvertently affects not only your smile but also the shape of your mouth and in the main your overall confidence.
She fell in love with the profession after suffering a gruesome, painful toothache as a young girl in middle school. Sabina always had an inquisitive mind-set, it took her a visit to the dentist the remove the tooth – the procedure was so smooth and painless experience. “Since that time I wondered how did this person (the dentist) take out the tooth and I don’t feel the pain, so since that day I knew I had to go to medical school, that was it for me” said the jolly dental therapist. She describes dentistry as an art, this is because the way these professionals work with our teeth and mouth to bring out our smiles is a thing of beauty. She holds a Bachelor of Dental Therapy (BDentTher.) from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) formerly known as Medical University of Southern Africa of MEDUNSA for short. This qualification is a specialised program offered by few institutions of higher education in South Africa. She works in government and works part time in the private sector.
Amongst other things Mrs. Kgwahla-Nyakale emphasizes the need for members of the general public to consider visiting dentists regularly. “I feel like the good only thing that came out of the coronavirus is that as more and more people are wearing masks, they realised that they have oral problems so they consulted” remarked Sabina. Apparently the world still has a lot of “old teachings” that they have to unlearn, different treatments are prescribed to different patients. Moreover, the need to consult dentists when there is absolutely nothing wrong with their teeth, prevention is better than cure.
Dental consultation should be done at least once every six months. Parents should take their children to a dentist as soon as the first tooth grows, this is to teach them how to care for their children’s teeth, and techniques such as knowing how to brush your teeth counts and with the right procedure will go a long way. The amount of toothpaste you put on your toothbrush has to scientific bearing on the quality of your cleanliness of your teeth, it’s all about how you brush them. September is National Oral Health Month in South Africa, Team TVM will definitely look back at this informative topic.
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