20th March: Celebrating Healthy Smiles on World Oral Health Day
Dr. Michael’s Dental Clinic is one with the world as we celebrate World Oral Health Day (WOHD). March 20th is the international day of raising awareness on the benefits of a healthy mouth and highlighting issues around oral health and the importance of importance of protecting the teeth and mouth throughout life.
This year’s theme is “World Oral Health Day 2014, Celebrating healthy smiles” because having a healthy mouth is truly a cause for celebration! WOHD is important because 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime, and many of them can be avoided with amplifies governmental, health association and society support.
Here are quick global facts on oral healthcare and diseases from the FDI World Dental Federation:
- 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral disease in their lifetime, ranging from caries, periodontal diseases and tooth decay to oral cancer.
- Only 60% of the world’s population enjoys access to oral healthcare.
- 60%-90% of school children worldwide have dental caries.
- Toothache is the number one reason for absenteeism from schools in many countries.
- Although the burden of oral diseases is decreasing in developed countries, gum complications are becoming more common, especially in older people. Major risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use and a diet high in fat, salt and sugar contribute to a range of chronic diseases including oral disease.
- Tobacco use is responsible for up to half of all periodontal (gum) diseases. These types of diseases are directly linked to diabetes, heart disease, pre-term birth, low birth weights and other health issues.
- Oral health has also a huge impact on general health and on other issues such as self-confidence, problems with social interactions and disrupts crucial functions like speaking and sleeping.
- The first line of oral health care is with the individual through prevention, especially twice-brushing daily with a fluoride toothpaste and regular check-ups.
- There are over one million qualified dentists worldwide who, using modern dental treatments can restore almost all functions and aesthetics of a healthy dentition. However, they are not equally distributed around the world leaving many of the poorest and most needy regions with fewer than one dentist per 300,000 population.
Everybody can take part in WOHD, and you can too! Check out the FDI World Dental Federation’s website to know more about the event. Spread the word!