Nigerian Association of Orthodontists, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozala Chapter has pleaded with the Federal and State Governments to help fund training centers to help Nigerians know more about Orthodontists.
Dr Nkiru Folaranmi, National President of the association and Head of Department of Child Dental Health, UNTH, made the plea in a statement to celebrate the World Orthodontic Health Day at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC).
Folaranmi was quoted in the statement as urging government and health insurance companies to sponsor orthodontic treatment at least for children up to the age of 18.
She said that the day was being celebrated to help create general awareness about orthodontic activities.
Orthodontists are the only ones qualified to treat all forms of malocclusion (an undesirable relative positioning of the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed) in children and adult.
Folaranmi noted that the core aim of the celebration was solely to create public awareness on the importance of correcting misaligned teeth among individuals while also providing free dental and Orthodontic examinations and advice to all.
According to her, malocclusion can lead to one having low self-esteem and lack of confidence as it reduces the quality of life of an individual, thus the need to remedy the condition.
“The World Federation of Orthodontists set aside May 15 every year to celebrate the Orthodontic World Health Day, with this year’s theme as “Orthodontics – creating beautiful smiles for all ages”.
“The Nigerian Association of Orthodontists in conjunction with the World Federation of Orthodontists therefore celebrates May 15 Worldwide to create awareness about effects and treatment of malocclusion.”
She highlighted the need for Nigerians to be aware of quacks in the profession, noting that “the choice of UNEC, as the event venue was solely to reach out to the youth who currently occupies over 50 percent of the country’s population.
The event was also graced by dental students of UNEC, who actively participated in the free dental examination of individuals.
They also matched round the campus with a banner representing World Orthodontic Health Day celebration to help create general awareness about orthodontic activities.