Turning the spotlight on Oral Health
Love month, valentines day, heart month, words that usually come to mind when we talk about the month of February. This month, however, is more than just a celebration of love for Filipinos. February is Philippine Dental Health month, an annual month-long celebration that aims to create and share awareness to the significance and benefits of having good oral hygiene.
What is good oral hygiene?
Everyone would agree that a beautiful smile enhances one’s’ attractiveness. People spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get that toothpaste commercial smile that also boosts self confidence.
Good oral hygiene however is more than just having impeccable straight teeth as it means clean teeth free of debris, healthy pink gums that does not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss your teeth and with the absence of bad breath.
Why is good oral hygiene important
Having good oral health is important in a person’s whole well-being. Whatever is found in a person’s mouth is often a reflection of his overall health. There is also a possibility that oral infections, more specifically gum infections, may have a direct connection with diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses and premature birth as suggested by recent researches.
How to Prevent Oral Health Problems
Daily preventive care helps in stopping oral problems before they even develop. It’s less painful, less expensive, and less worries. The most common ways of practicing good oral hygiene are: brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily, eating a balanced diet and having regular visits to the dentist.
Here are some How To’s for daily preventive care:
Another important step in taking care of the teeth is by reducing sugar intake.
Sugar may be sweet but our teeth need loving too!
Dental Caries, one of the most common non-communicable disease in the world, mostly known as tooth decay or dental cavities is brought by too much sugar that leads to demineralisation. Demineralisation of the tooth occurs when the enamel loses calcium and phosphate after being exposed to acid from sweetened food and drinks.
Brushing the teeth twice daily and using mouthrinses once a day help slow down demineralisation, hence, should be done religiously.
Pit and fissure sealants is another safe and effective way to prevent dental caries on the vulnerable surface of the tooth as it creates a thin barrier preventing plaque and plaque acids to enter the enamel surface. However, sealants are only effective on the biting surface of the tooth. Proper oral hygiene is still needed to prevent the spread of dental caries on the teeth.
Just like most of the other diseases, prevention is better than cure when it comes to oral health. It is imperative that we follow the simple steps in ensuring that our mouth is in the pink of health.
Visit your dentists for dental cleaning at least every 6 months as well so your teeth can be better monitored and assessed.