Ministry of Health and Child Care joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Oral Health Day emphasizing how oral health is connected to general health and health being at a colourful ceremony in Harare yesterday.
World Oral Health Day was yesterday celebrated under the theme ‘say ahh. Think mouth, Think health’.
The awareness day was created by the World Dental Federation to spread messages about good oral hygiene practices to adults and children. Their goal is to raise awareness on the prevention and control of oral diseases.
Speaking at the event, Minister of health and Child Care Hon Dr David Parirenyatwa said: “Oral health is about much more than a nice smile.” The Minister emphasized that good oral health often reflects good general health and well-being. “Poor oral health can be the result, as well as the cause, of poor general health,” said Dr Parirenyatwa. The Minister added that Statistical trends point to a strong association between oral diseases non-communicable diseases (NCD)s like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases just to mention a few.
Speaking at the same event, World Health Organization (WHO) Health System Strengthening Advisor Dr Stanely Midzi stated that oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss, oral mucosal and has a profound effect on general health and quality of life.
A Healthy mouth
• Allows you to speak, smile, eat, drink – and perform other physical functions throughout life – and can also boost social interaction and promote self-esteem.
An unhealthy mouth
• Can cause discomfort, pain, disease, and can lead to social isolation and lack of self-confidence, as well as lost school or work days
The World Dental Federation says 90 percent of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime. Oral diseases take many shapes and forms, with the most common being tooth decay and gum disease. If not properly managed, they can negatively impact the rest of your body.
General health conditions can also increase the risk of problems in the mouth. For example, oral diseases are linked with diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, and some cancers; while having diabetes increases the risk of getting gum disease.
Protect your mouth and body
• Eat healthy
• Don’t use tobacco
• Limit alcohol use
• Adopt good oral hygiene habits
The World Dental Federation wants you to know it’s never too early to adopt healthy oral habits.
Healthy oral hygine
• Brush twice a day
• Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash or chew sugar-free gum after meals and snacks (when you can’t brush)
• Clean between your teeth using floss
• Have regular dental check-ups
Preventative care is always the best option. Seek early detection and treatment to fight oral diseases and associated general health conditions.