Man who cleans stained teeth now smiles all the way to the bank
Nakuru residents with stained teeth can now afford a smile thanks to Mr Joel Kariuki, a teeth cleaner.
Mr Kariuki is also smiling his way to the bank with his monthly profit from his business soaring to Sh500,000.
The 33 year old teeth cleaner uses natural herbs such as lemons and oranges among other herbs to clean his clients’ teeth.
He started his business from his village in Lanet, Nakuru County five years ago.
Joel grew up in Nakuru where having stained teeth is a common problem. The condition is known as fluorosis.
‘Joel Teeth Cleaner’, as he is widely known, just like other residents was not left out.
He developed stained teeth just after his milk teeth were out.
But his problem was short-lived as when he was seven years old his mother, who used natural herbs, scrubbed his teeth to regain their original white colour, an exercise which she has been practicing over time at no charge.
“Stained teeth was then a very common problem, almost in every household, a situation which always lowered our self-esteem and made us feel shy even to talk while facing others,” he said.
After observing such rampant cases which affect almost everyone in the area, Mr Kariuki saw a career opportunity.
He realised he could earn a living from teeth cleaning. This he owes to his mother who showed him some of the herbs she uses.
Besides, after venturing into the teeth cleaning business he has discovered more herbs.
Stained teeth or brown teeth as many people refer to it, he says, is a common problem with people living in Nakuru, Baringo, Bogoria, Naivasha, and some parts of Kiambu, Bomet and Kericho counties.
The situation is characterised by discolouration of teeth which sometimes become weak and start chipping.
“There was dire need to save the situation mostly among job seekers who could not secure jobs especially in the army.
Ladies also felt more vulnerable to the situation and suffered the ridicule since most people with the condition were considered untidy, which is not true but it lowers self-esteem,” Mr Kariku said.
He then ventured in to the business of treating bleeding gums, bad breath, and stained teeth from his small village.
It started as a small business and within a year, his services expanded due to the growing demand which saw him move his business to the central business district in Nakuru Town.
He uses herbs which he grinds into powder form before applying on a client’s teeth.
He says he gets such herbs from various places including Naivasha, Nakuru, Baringo, Kericho and Bomet.
The treatment, he says, depends on where the client comes from hence the need to get these herbs from different parts of the country.
“There is certain mixture of ground herbs which removes stains but there is also an additional herb depending on the kind of stain and where the client was brought up,” he says.
WHITE TEETH AGAIN
Once discoloured teeth are scrubbed they regain their original colour, an exercise which takes a minimum of 15 minutes.
The teeth will remain white with no chances of them being discoloured again.
In his business, he has managed to offer his services to different people from as far as Sudan and other foreigners who seek his services before residing in places with high fluoride concentration.
For such visitors, he says, he uses neutralising herbs ground into powder form to scrub the teeth so as to prevent them from getting stained during their stay in such areas.
He charges Shs300 per stained tooth and Sh5, 000 to treat bleeding gum, bad breath and neutralisation.
His busy schedule starts early in the morning with clients, majority of them being women and children, queuing for his services.
He attends over 500 clients a month from different parts of the country.