Social aspects of the dental health of the rural Maasai community in Kenya.
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This paper establishes both dental treatment and dental health education needs among the rural Maasai communities of Kenya. The study also evaluates the prevalence and rationale of extraction of deciduous canine tooth buds in babies. This practice should be discouraged and prevented as the presence of gingival swelling of the bud is neither the cause, nor its removal the cure for the illness in infancy. Efforts are being made through the Community Health Education Programme of the Nomadic Health Unit to discourage the Maasai from removing the deciduous canine tooth buds in babies and instead introduce dental health education. Oral hygiene habits and good dietary aspects are encouraged especially in children so that they can preserve their teeth. It may be possible to keep the levels of oral diseases low despite the changing environment and lifestyles.