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Looking After Your Teeth This World Oral Health Day

Looking After Your Teeth This World Oral Health Day

On March 20th every year, World Oral Health Day is celebrated globally to ‘help reduce the burden of oral diseases which affect individuals, health systems and economies everywhere’ (worldoralhealthday.org) The aim of the day is to empower and educate communities with tools, strategies, and knowledge to ensure good long-term oral health, and prevent serious health issues which are often linked to poor dental hygiene. 

Between 2019-2020 in Australia, over 67,000 hospitalisations for dental conditions may have been prevented with earlier treatment (Oral health and dental care in Australia, March 2023). Good oral health is essential to overall health and wellbeing and ensures we can comfortably and safely eat, speak, and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment. 

Below we discuss a few basic strategies for both adults and children to ensure good mouth health, as well as debunking some common misconceptions and diseases linked to poor dental wellbeing.

Strategies to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

  • Brush and floss your teeth twice per day, taking particular care around the gum line not to brush too aggressively.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste that doesn’t contain any sugar.
  • Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash to kill bacteria and minimise bad breath.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after consuming highly sugary or acidic foods or caffeinated beverages.
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures

Common Misconceptions about Dental Health

Misconception 1: Brushing harder will clean teeth better.
Brushing too hard can actually damage tooth enamel and irritate gums. It can also cause excessive bleeding of the gums, particularly in individuals who have more sensitive gums, are pregnant or experiencing gingivitis.

Misconception 2: Flossing is not necessary.
Flossing is essential for removing plaque and food particles from between teeth and preventing gum disease. It also ensures that any large food particles don’t become lodged between teeth causing inflammation, irritation and ongoing issues.

Misconception 3: Going to the dentist is only necessary when there is a problem.
It is recommended that adults visit the dentist at least once a year, even if they have no natural teeth or have dentures. Children and adolescents should see a dentist every 6 months to help prevent cavities and identify any problems before they become worse.

Common Diseases or Illnesses Linked to Poor Oral Hygiene:
Poor oral hygiene can lead to several diseases and illnesses, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • Oral cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory infections
  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Stroke

Good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. It is important for both kids and adults to practice good oral hygiene to prevent dental problems and maintain overall health. By following the tips and strategies discussed in this article, you can maintain good teeth and gum hygiene and prevent dental problems. Remember to visit your dentist regularly and address any dental problems promptly to maintain optimal oral health.

Information sourced from The Wellness Workshop (https://www.thewellnessworkshop.com.au/)