Barrier Breaker of the Month of September 2021
The Barrier Breaker of the Month of September 2021 Is…
Dr. Njowene Grey-Johnson, BDS a Dental Surgeon and a Graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. After spending 8 years studying and working in Ghana, She decided to move back to The Gambia and served both in the public and private sector. Upon her arrival, she realized that Oral Health in The Gambia was very low. This prompted her to start creating posts, skits and memes to educate the public. She has been very active on social media promoting Oral Hygiene.
Dentistry was something that I developed along the way. Growing up, I wanted to be a Teacher but I was very shy. In high school, I fell in love with Technical Drawing and thought I would be an Architect or Engineer but I hated Physics.
Medicine was not an option for me. I just didn’t like the idea of spending long hours in the hospital. After High School, I took a gap year and worked as a lab tech in the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia (MRC). While I was there, I developed Interest in Microbiology. I wanted to study Microbiology so I spent hours applying to Universities abroad. Somewhere in between I stumbled on Dentistry. It was a combination of Arts and Science which meant I could still use my hands and be creative. After shadowing a Dentist (Dentist George), I was convinced that I was going to become a Dentist.
LIFE AS A DENTIST & CHALLENGES
It’s been both challenging and fun. You meet a lot of people with different beliefs. Some are appreciative and others are not. You also meet people who have no knowledge of Oral Health and with them I take my time to educate as much as possible.
Practicing in The Gambia has been challenging. The attitude of some people, the unavailability of tools and equipment needed, and the belief system of some when It comes to their teeth/oral health. We have people who believe that visiting a Dentist is suicidal and if you pull out a tooth, you will die. Clearly, all these beliefs are false. That’s why I work really hard to educate the public by being very active online and offline. A lot of life threatening situations can be avoided simply by spending five minutes with your Dentist. You don’t have to wait for a swollen jaw, painful teeth, etc. before seeing a dentist. Take care of your Oral Health, it’s very important.
- Visit your Dentist every 6 months
- Avoid using hard toothbrushes, they cause tear on the gum and wear off the enamel on the teeth. It also causes sensitivity; use a medium brush instead.
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 months. Your mouth is not a safe environment, there are bacteria in your mouth. Changing your toothbrush prevents multiplication of germs in your mouth.
- You don’t need to cover your toothbrush. Leave it to dry. If you live with a lot of people, keep your toothbrush in your room.
- Both manual and electric toothbrushes work just fine.
- Don’t brush side to side, brush in circular motion or up/down motion
- Toothbrush is way better than a chewing stick however, if you can’t afford one, manage using the chewing stick although it may cause some tear on your gum.
GREATEST LIFE LESSONS
Tolerance is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt. Things don’t always go your way and people won’t always behave the way you want them to. Tolerance and Patience has also helped me deal with patients and their family, educating them over and over again.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were younger?
- Learn to relax, life is not that serious. Things will work out eventually.
- Also put God first, take things one day at a time.
Honestly, life is not easy, nonetheless don’t give up . Have a vision and run your own race. Stop looking at the lives of others and focus on yours. Surround yourself with quality friends and family, have people that can encourage you. Be consistent, it’s key!
Jois: One of the best advice I got when I started Barrier Breakers Corner was to be ‘CONSISTENT’ and I’ve run with that ever since. It’s not been smooth but I’m loving the journey and I’m grateful to God for how far He has brought us. So whatever you find yourself doing as long as you know in your heart of hearts that this is what you love to do, ‘BE CONSISTENT’ you will reap the benefits in due season.
Thank you Dr. Grey-Johnson for taking time out to be here. I am truly grateful.
You can follow her on her social media platforms: Instagram – https://instagram.com/_drgrey_?utm_medium=copy_link and Twitter – https://twitter.com/bdsgrey?s=11
Click on any of the links below to listen to the full conversation on the podcast.