Many Naivasha residents are easily recognised by their coloured teeth or weak bones, thanks to the high levels of the fluoride in river water.

However, the Nakuru county government has moved in to address this problem and soon Naivasha residents will have a reason to smile and expose their teeth without fear.

Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua says that his government is determined to mitigate against water scarcity and provide fluoride-free water to residents.

“We are deeply concerned about the issue of high fluoride in the water consumed in Naivasha but my government is addressing this,” he says.

Already, the county has set aside Sh412m this year to boost water production in the region.

This is an increase from Sh196m in the last fiscal year and it comes at a time the region is fighting a cholera outbreak which has so far claimed 16 lives.

Mbugua says they want 95 per cent of residents to have piped water in five years, a jump from 53 per cent in 2003 and an improvement from the 72 per cent households with water this year.

Most Naivasha dental patients come from areas with high fluoride which has left their teeth coloured and are seeking for remedies.

Kenya Dental Association (KDA) national chairperson Dr Jane Wamai says cases of bleaching are on the increase mainly around Naivasha as residents seek to whiten their coloured teeth.

She notes that some of the chemicals used in these poorly supervised treatments are dangerous.

“Some of the after effects are sensitive teeth and cases of bleeding gums and we are warning members of the public to be wary of herbalists who offer ineffective treatment,” she says.