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Op-Ed

History of World Oral Health Day

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By EMN Updated: Mar 20, 2021 12:25 am
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World Oral Health Day 2021: Date, History

World Oral Health Day is observed every year on 20th March. It focuses on highlighting the benefits of good oral health, spreads awareness about oral diseases, and promotes maintenance of oral hygiene.

World Oral Health Day was launched on 20 March 2013 by FDI World Dental Federation. The day also marks the launch of a year-long campaign to raise awareness of oral health and the prevention of oral diseases. Since 2013 these campaigns have featured a specific theme.

World Oral Health Day 2021: Theme and Significance 

The theme for the next three years (2021-2023) sends out a simple but powerful message: ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth.’ In other words, value and take care of it. This year, the campaign wants to inspire change by focusing on the importance of oral health for overall health, because good oral health can help you live a longer, healthier life. And that is something worth taking action for.

Oral health is as important as general health. It helps you maintain a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums. A healthy mouth not only allows you to speak, smile, taste, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions with confidence and without pain, but it also have a positive impact on your general health, well being and quality of life. Poor oral health can lead to oral diseases and at the same time, Oral diseases can also be a precursor to or indicator of many other NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers. It shares common risk factors with other NCDs including tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets, especially those high in sugar. And yet, there is no reason to suffer: most oral health conditions are largely preventable and can be treated in their early stages.

Key messages on this World oral health Day 

LOOK AFTER ORAL HEALTH FOR OVERALL HEALTH. Just like other major diseases, prevention, early detection and treatment of oral diseases is important to stop any negative effects on the rest of the body.

PRACTICE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE ROUTINE. Brush for 2 mins twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste. Replace the toothbrush every 3 months.

PROTECT YOUR MOUTH WHILE YOU ARE ON THE GO. Rinse with water or mouthwash after food, chewing sugar free gum increase the saliva which helps flush away the food particles from the teeth.

EAT A HEALTHY AND BALANCED, LOW SUGAR DIET that is rich in fruits and vegetables.Include meat, fish, chicken, cheese, nuts, pickle, egg. Avoid carbonated drinks, excessive intake of refined sugar foods like cakes, cookies, and candies, chocolate, dried fruits, tobacco and alcohol.

VISIT THE DENTIST REGULARLY. Go for Dental Checkup once every 6 months. He/She will examine your teeth, gums and mouth, advice on how to maintain good oral hygiene and provide necessary treatment.

What is the status of oral health today? And way forward
Oral health continues to be one of the most neglected areas of global health. The tragedy is that oral disease is a silent epidemic afflicting some 3.58 billion people—more than half the world’s population. Child obesity is indeed an epidemic as are childhood caries due to the high sugary drinks and snacks intake.

Historically, we have been treating the “mouth” separately from the “body”.  We need to change both the community and government mind sets —the belief that poor oral health is just a “tooth” problem

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  • It is time to stop brushing oral health aside.
  • It is time for us not to think of our mouths as somehow disconnected from the rest of our bodies. The same blood flows through them, the same nerves go to them.
  • To have a healthy body you need to have a healthy mouth.
  • Good oral health can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Dr Meribeni Odyuo

Dy.Dir & SPO, NOHP

Directorate of Health & Family Welfare

Nagaland : Kohima

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By EMN Updated: Mar 20, 2021 12:25:57 am