World Oral Health Day is a global initiative that takes place on March 20 every year. It’s been celebrated annually since 2013 and serves to spread awareness around why oral health is important to each and every one of us. It’s paramount to maintain a healthy mouth at every age!
Why is World Oral Health Day important? Oral diseases like periodontal disease (gum disease) are the most common noncommunicable diseases in the world, meaning they aren’t spread directly from one person to another. Poor oral health affects people throughout their entire lives if the problem isn’t remedied. This can lead to years of discomfort, tooth loss, and even death. Often the first sign of poor oral health is tooth decay or cavities, which are 100 percent preventable.
Our oral health — good and bad — impacts more than just our smile. Numerous overall health conditions have all been found to present symptoms in the mouth including:
Luckily, we can all take simple steps to improve or maintain our oral health!
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods high in sugar or starch — they tend to stick to your teeth.
- Brush gently at least twice a day, with special attention to the gum line. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day!
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or earlier if it’s worn out.
- Visit your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
Keep up with your dental appointments regularly so that your dentist can monitor changes in your mouth. They can help diagnose oral and overall health concerns. Early detection of oral and overall health problems leads to better physical and financial outcomes. It also prevents the problem from becoming a larger issue.
Use World Oral Health Day as a reminder to check up on your oral health and that of your loved ones. Encourage them to maintain a healthy mouth and smile. Share this article and what you’ve learned about the importance of oral health!