World Oral Health Day: Get your pearly whites out
A healthy smile is worth celebrating.
Good oral hygiene goes beyond pearly whites. What’s inside your mouth can reveal a lot about what’s going on inside your body.
An unhealthy mouth has been linked to a number of diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, dementia and more.
That’s why, every year on March 20, the world celebrates oral health.
World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is the largest awareness campaign on oral health around the globe.
It helps spread the word about the importance of oral health as well as highlighting the best ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Are you ready to join the oral health movement?
The importance of oral health awareness
Oral health is the condition of a person’s teeth, gums, muscles and bones in the mouth.
Some alarming statistics from the latest 2018 National Oral Health Report have discovered 90.1% of Australians are experiencing or have experienced tooth decay in their adult teeth.
It’s a shocking figure on it’s own right, but to make matters worse, data reveals 25.5% of Australians living with tooth decay are not receiving treatment by a dentist.
Poor oral health – including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath – are all linked to further health problems.
Oral health affects almost every aspect of our lives.
The mouth acts like an entry point for most infections, which can then spread into other parts of the body.
Good oral hygiene gives us quality of life being able to smile, smell, taste, speak, touch, chew, and swallow without pain, discomfort or embarrassment.
The link between oral health and a healthy, quality life is undeniable.
Impacts of poor oral health
Bad breath, tooth decay, plaque build-up, gum disease and tooth loss are most common oral diseases, but poor oral health doesn’t stop at the mouth.
More than 500 species of bacteria thrive in the mouth at any given time. While most of them are harmless, poor oral hygiene can cause harmful bacteria to move into the body triggering inflammation and infection, along with a host of other issues.
Poor oral health can also impact a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Oral diseases such as tooth loss, decay or bad breath can change a person’s appearance and/or speech. Many people can become embarrassed and lose their self-confidence, causing them to decline social activities.
What contributes to poor oral health?
- Consumption of excess sugar, tobacco and alcohol.
- Lack of good oral hygiene routines.
- Lack of regular dental check-ups.
- Limited access and availability of public dental care.
- Affordability of private dental care.
9 ways to a healthier smile
- Brush teeth twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste, and don’t forget to brush the tongue.
- Floss daily.
- Drink fluoridated water.
- Eat plenty of crunchy fruit and vegetables.
- Reduce sugar, alcohol and tobacco.
- If you eat or drink something acidic or sugary, rinse your mouth with water.
- Schedule in regular check-ups with the dentist.
- Invest in an affordable health insurance extras policy to reduce your dental costs.
- Compare your options and see what health cover best suits you at Health Insurance Comparison.
How can I get involved with World Oral Health Day?
Spread the word.
Whether you decide to host an event or simply spread the word via social media, the ultimate goal of WOHD is to raise awareness and control of oral diseases.
Here are a few ideas to spread the word;
Get the WOHD cover photo or frame on your social media profile and share the memes and video with your friends and family.
Include the hashtags in your posts and tweets #SayAhh #WOHD19.
Take a #ActOnMouthHealth selfie. You could be brushing your teeth, visiting the dentist, eating something healthy or flossing. Post it to your Twitter or Instagram profile using the hashtag #ActOnMouthHealth.
Attend or host an event. Access the Events Map on the WOHD website to add your event or see what’s happening around you.