World Oral Health Day 2023
Oral health is a lifelong journey of healthy teeth and gums; enjoy the journey towards a brighter smile.
A healthy smile not only reflects good oral hygiene, but it can also boost self-esteem, confidence, and social engagement. Unfortunately, many individuals have poor oral health due to a lack of access to dental care, insufficient oral hygiene education, and unhealthy habits.
A step towards a healthier smile on this World Oral Health Day 2023!
Every year, World Oral Health Day serves as a reminder of the importance of mouth hygiene to maintain good general health. This year's theme, "Be Proud of Your Mouth," encourages individuals to take responsibility for their oral health and celebrate the positive impact that good oral hygiene practices can have on their lives. The campaign aims to promote access to dental care for all individuals. On March 20th, join the global crusade to commemorate World Oral Health Day and take pride in your mouth care!
Why is maintaining oral hygiene important?
Maintaining oral hygiene is important for several reasons, including:
Also known as dental caries or cavities, it is a prevalent dental disease characterized by the breakdown of the outer layer of the tooth (enamel), leading to sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages, as well as severe pain. Dental caries can occur when plaque (a sticky layer of bacteria on the surface of teeth) and debris are not properly removed. Additionally, reduced saliva flow can contribute to the development of caries by decreasing the ability to wash away food particles and neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
This condition is often caused by inadequate brushing and flossing habits, which lead to plaque formation on the tooth's surface. Over time, this plaque can harden and turn into tartar, which is difficult to remove without professional dental care. Both plaque and tartar can damage the gum tissues and the underlying bone, resulting in periodontitis.
The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Many are unaware that oral health and general health are linked to each other. Let us discuss how they affect each other:
Diabetic people have a high periodontal (gum) disease risk. Diabetes can delay the healing process and interfere with gum disease treatment. Diabetes may cause dry mouth and a fungal infection called thrush, which causes sore white spots in the mouth. Therefore, it is important that diabetic people maintain good oral hygiene.
Heart disease: Millions of microorganisms are present in the oral cavity, but their number drastically decreases after daily dental hygiene practices. Poor oral hygiene, on the other hand, creates an environment that can grow several dangerous bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and cause infective endocarditis
Many pregnant women suffer from gingivitis that may be worsened by changing hormones during pregnancy. If untreated, it can raise the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health: How to Maintain Oral Hygiene
To ensure a clean and healthy oral cavity, some routine procedures should be followed:
1. Regular oral hygiene practice
Using a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush is recommended to brush teeth twice a day, once in the morning after waking up and once before sleeping at night. To eliminate plaque, interproximal brushes can be used to clean the spaces between the teeth that a regular toothbrush cannot reach.
A wax-coated thread called floss is commonly used to remove plaque and debris that gets stuck between teeth surfaces, dental fillings, and braces. Consistent flossing can minimize gingival bleeding and lower the risk of developing cavities.
To maintain a clean mouth and prevent bad breath, it is crucial to clean the tongue. This can be accomplished using either metal or plastic scrapers or the non-bristle end of a toothbrush. Regular tongue cleaning is an important aspect of oral hygiene.
Mouthwashes serve as a supplementary component to other oral hygiene practices. Before use, mouthwashes should be diluted with water. To prevent teeth staining, it is recommended to use mouthwash for 21 consecutive days, followed by a discontinuation period of at least two weeks.
2. Frequent dental check-ups
Regular dental check-ups every six months are crucial for ensuring a healthy oral cavity. If experiencing pain, bleeding gums, swelling, non-healing ulcers, or any alteration in the color or texture inside the mouth, one should seek dental attention promptly. These symptoms may indicate a serious or potentially serious condition that requires professional evaluation.
3. Consuming a nutritious diet
Sugary and processed foods should be avoided such as sweets and chocolates, as they promote the growth of acid, which can tear down the enamel. Consume a diet high in fiber, which is found in leafy vegetables, entire fruits, and whole grains, to increase saliva production in the mouth and to avoid foods getting accumulated on your teeth surfaces.
4. Quitting unhealthy habits
All tobacco (smoked and smokeless) should be fully avoided, as should areca nut chewing. Cigarette smoking can reduce saliva secretion and raise the risk of getting lung cancer, whereas chewing tobacco and areca nuts can induce mouth cancer. Individuals should limit their alcohol consumption to ensure normal saliva flow in the mouth.
We can help prevent dental issues and maintain healthy, beautiful smiles for years by implementing excellent oral hygiene routines, such as brushing and flossing, avoiding sugary or acidic meals and beverages, and scheduling frequent dental checkups.
Take care of your smile by maintaining good oral hygiene practices!