GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The department Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), said on Monday that March 20 marked World Oral Health Day, adding that oral health is vital for overall health. The theme for 2017 is: “Live Mouth Smart.”
World Oral Health Day is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of looking after oral hygiene to everyone old and young.
Healthy teeth, gums and mouths are things people tend to take for granted until they no longer have them. Experts say this is unfortunate because good habits and regular check-ups can prevent most oral health problems, and these are more likely to occur if people are fully aware of the importance of oral health.
Nine out of 10 people around the world are at risk of some form of oral disease, ranging from tooth decay and gum disease to oral cancer.
Prevention begins in childhood, yet even in developed countries, from 60% to 90% of school-aged children have dental caries, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
One of the most serious forms of oral disease is oral cancer, whose major risk factors are tobacco and alcohol use and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Dental professionals can play an important role in early detection by examining patients for signs of oral cancer during check-ups.
In the Americas, the burden of oral disease has declined significantly since 1980, thanks in large part to public health interventions including salt and water fluoridation and the use of simple yet effective technologies for oral health care.
Oral disease can be prevented through healthy habits including: Brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; Using dental floss every day; Rinsing daily with fluoride mouthwash; Having regular dental check-ups for both children and adults; Avoiding soft drinks, artificial juices and energy drinks; Avoiding sweets, candies and starchy snacks; Avoiding junk foods; Avoiding tobacco products and alcohol.
For more information on Oral Health Care, you can reach CPS at 542-3003 or 542-2078.