World Oral Health dayEverybody loves a beautiful smile. A simple cute smile can be the spark that lights up your day. Such a powerful tool needs proper care for maintaining its longevity. That is why we have the world oral health day to spread awareness of proper dental care so you can keep those chompers running right through old age. Held on the 20th of March every year, this year the campaign carries the slogan ‘celebrating healthy smiles’. The idea was to protect the teeth and mouth of the population throughout their lives. With this agenda we need to look at some lifestyle changes that we can adopt so we can maintain a good standard of oral health throughout our lives.

Regular brushing is something that we should inculcate in all children. There is a need to educate the public about brushing twice (morning and night) daily along with the use of mouthwash and floss. In rural areas where simple commodities like brushes and toothpaste are unavailable there has been a tradition of chewing the stems of the neem tree. Simply brushing is not enough. One must know the proper way to brush teeth and this can be found by doing a simple google search. Some of us tend to brush for a long duration and some of us brush too roughly. Both are pointless and the latter has the potential to cause harm to the gums. All that is required is the righ t technique and five minutes for a healthy smile. As adults its only lethargy that holds us back from oral hygiene. A night out partying and we forget to brush at night. If we can keep this simple habit then we will be able to maintain good oral health. Flossing is yet to catch up in the developing countries and is largely ignored. This however removes all the debris stuck in between teeth that brushing and mouthwash cannot remove. It is certainly worth looking into if you can get a hold of dental floss.

Two visits to the dentist every year is a good habit to maintain. A large number of our dental issues can be rectified with only minor procedures if they are detected at an early stage. Smokers and tobacco chewers should visit the dentist much more often since tobacco stains teeth and also produces tartar that can be easily removed by the dentist. Any cavities that are present should be immediately attended to and the fillings should be repaired and maintained from time to time. We can avoid expensive and painful root canal treatment if we can maintain this habit, besides most doctors send a reminder to their patients that their dental visit is due.

We are constantly worrying about our figures and skin while we carry a blasé attitude towards eating right for our mouth and teeth. In developed countries there is a large amount of processed foods that are consumed and unfortunately these are lacking in essential nutrients and minerals that our body requires. A lot of gum disease can be avoided by eating citrus fruits and high fiber foods. We must also have a healthy intake of calcium in our diet. The citrus fruits contain vitamin c that prevents scurvy and gum bleeding. The high fiber foods are generally a little tough thus require a fair bit of chewing. This chewing is exercise for the mouth, teeth and gums and increases blood circulation and gives a longer life to your teeth. We should also reduce our sugar intake because apart from empty calories they are also damaging to the teeth. The same goes for colas that can have a corrosive effect on the enamel of the teeth.

One of the biggest benefits we can provide in terms of oral to health is stopping smoking and chewing tobacco. Tobacco use is responsible for up to half of all gum diseases that occur periodically. Apart from gum disease they also contribute to heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight and cancer. Tobacco is responsible for staining teeth and gums as well as causing tartar deposits that over time loosen the teeth from their sockets in the gums. Chewing tobacco is the leading cause of oral cancer and leads to unnecessary deaths and billions of dollars in oral health treatments.

To make changes in our busy, already set lifestyle can seem tedious and often times very hard to maintain. However if the cost of our lifestyle is ill health, should we not make a second inspection. Some of the suggestions provided above are somewhat tougher while others are easy enough to begin right away. Maintaining oral health is just as important as any other part of the body and teeth are irreplaceable although there are many prosthetics available in the market, nothing feels like the real deal. Adopt these practices and spread them to your friends and folks and watch the world smiling everywhere you look. So go ahead, Celebrate your decisions, celebrate your smile!

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