A smile will gain you ten more years of life! Read this article on World Oral Health Day to know how maintaining dental hygiene will get you a smile for life!
World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is observed every year on 20 March. It is an international event to celebrate the significance and advantages of a healthy mouth and to encourage worldwide awareness of the issues regarding oral health.
Why is WOHD Important?
The importance of this day lies in the fact that over 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime but many of them can be avoided with better governmental, health association and society support for prevention, detection and treatment programmes.
Oral Hygiene and General Health
Earlier, oral hygiene was not considered an important component of general health, but today, science has proven that there is a strong connection between both.
"A poor oral hygiene routine can be a breeding ground for bacteria and when oral hygiene is neglected it will eventually cause periodontal disease (most severe form of gum disease). Bacterium associated with periodontitis can enter the bloodstream via bleeding gums which is what links the two together.", says Dr. Gaurav Walia, Senior Consultant - Dentistry
Here are just a few medical conditions linked to poor oral hygiene:
- Heart disease - Bacteria in the bloodstream can travel to the heart and lead to a heart attack. It may find its way to the inner linings of the heart and valves leading to endocarditis.
- Inflammation- Inflamed gums and bleeding may result into systemic inflammation.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - Periodontal disease worsen the pain inflicted by this auto immune disorder.
- Lung Condition - Those already having COPD and pneumonia may have their condition worsened due to an increased concentration of bacteria in their lungs.
- Erectile Dysfunction- Periodontal bacteria can travel through the bloodstream causing inflammation of blood vessels and blocking flow to the genitals.
Prevention and care
Here is how you can maintain healthy mouth and Teeth at every stage of life:
Infants and children
- Clean the new teeth every day. When the teeth first come in, use a clean wet washcloth to gently rub and clean them. When the teeth are bigger, use a child's toothbrush.
- Do not use toothpaste for brushing the teeth of children under 2 years of age. Use water instead.
- Encourage children to eat low-sugar snacks, such as fruits, vegetables and, cheese. Keep them away from sticky, chewy candy.
- Educate your children about how to brush their teeth and the importance of maintaining dental hygiene.
- Take your children to the dentist frequently.
Teens & Adults
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Floss your teeth at least one time in a day.
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco as it can cause staining of teeth, bad breath and cancer.
- Make sure that you wear the right protective headgear while playing contact sports.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups.