World Oral Health Day is an international day proclaiming the importance of oral health for people of all ages in all countries of the world. This day has already become one of the most important events in the world of dentistry and is considered the day of the proclamation of the basic values that every dentist carries to his patients.
According to experts, oral health is one of the fundamental basics of general human health. According to official WHO statistics, about 98% of people in the world suffer from inflammatory diseases of periodontal tissues. The incidence of caries is also almost 100%. Basing on this, in 2008 the World Dental Federation FDI established World Oral Health Day (WOHD).
The relevance and social significance of the WOHD is confirmed by global statistics:
- Over the course of their lives, 90% of the world's population suffers from diseases of the oral cavity, ranging from caries and periodontal tissue diseases to cancerous tumors.
- 60-90% of school students worldwide have carious lesions.
- Only 60% of the world's population has access to oral care.
- The incidence of cancer in the maxillofacial region is from 1–10 per 100000 of the population in most countries of the world.
- Oncological diseases of the maxillofacial region take 8th place among the most common forms of cancer and are one of the most expensive types of cancer tumors for treatment and rehabilitation.
- The risk of developing a cancerous tumor in the oral cavity is 15 times higher with a combination of two provoking factors: smoking and excessive alcohol drinking.
- Toothache is the number one reason for missing school in many countries.
- High sugar intake is the number one factor in the etiology of the development of caries and diabetes mellitus.
- It was found that most patients avoid dental treatment due to increased excitement and various fears associated with the upcoming treatment.
- In developed countries, the incidence threshold is increasing, and inflammatory diseases of periodontal tissues are becoming more common, especially among older people.
The main risk factors: smoking, decreased physical activity and high intake of sugar and salt contribute to the development of various chronic diseases of the oral cavity.
Oral diseases are associated with diabetes, cardiovascular pathology, premature birth, low birth weight and other conditions.
The main goal of this day is to draw the attention of residents of the republic to how much dental health means in their lives, to inform about measures of primary prevention, and also to help in the formation of motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
In terms of maintaining dental health, this is, first of all, teaching proper oral care and orientation on timely visits to the dentist in case of the first symptoms of dental distress, as well as visiting the dentist for preventive purposes. Almost any dental disease is easier to prevent than to treat.
It is enough to regularly keep only three simple rules on which the whole world experience is based: proper oral hygiene, proper nutrition and the use of fluorides.
Proper oral hygiene
It consists in home teeth brushing at least twice a day, as well as the use of additional hygiene products (dental floss, interdental brushes, rinses, denture brushes, etc.). In addition, it is worth to carry out professional oral hygiene.
Professional oral hygiene differs from daily hygiene in its complexity and the use of special preparations and equipment. The main stages of professional oral hygiene are the removal of tartar and soft pigmented plaque, polishing of tooth surfaces, coating teeth with fluoride varnish or gel.
One of the most important strategies in maintaining oral health is proper nutrition: what we eat and how often we eat. If you want to keep your smile beautiful and bright, in addition to daily oral hygiene, you must adhere to a special dental diet. The main requirement is to limit the frequency of carbohydrate intake. The number of meals should not exceed 5–6 times a day, including 3 main meals and 2 snacks.
The most important substances for the health of your teeth and gums are proteins, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C, D, omega-3 fatty acids.
What foods and drinks contain substances necessary to strengthen the health of your teeth and gums.
Dairy products. Sugar-free dairy products can strengthen your teeth. For example, the calcium in cheese makes teeth stronger. At the same time, the cheese neutralizes the pH of the oral cavity, which is the prevention of caries development. Milk and yogurts provide your body with phosphates and vitamin D, which are especially necessary for better absorption of calcium in the human body.
Nuts. Many varieties of nuts (peanuts, almonds cashews, hazelnuts) provide your teeth with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, ferrum and zinc, which is especially important for strengthening your teeth. The greatest amount of calcium needed to restore the mineral structure of tooth enamel is found in almonds and Brazil nuts.
Solid varieties of fruits and vegetables. This group of food products is also called «dental detergents». Firstly, they stimulate salivation, which reduces the number of bacteria in the oral cavity. Secondly, they have the so-called scrub effect for teeth, thereby providing additional cleansing of teeth from food debris.
Strawberries and kiwi. Strawberries and kiwi contain the highest concentration of vitamin C necessary for the health of your gums. Vitamin C is the one of the most important substances for maintaining the structure of collagen fibers of your gums.
Tea. Green and black tea contain substances such as polyphenols, which prevent plaque deposits on the teeth. In turn, polyphenols reduce the activity of cariogenic bacteria. The catechins found in green tea keep your gums healthy.
Water. Water provides mouthwash from food debris and sugary drinks. Fluoridated water contributes to further strengthen of tooth enamel.
It is necessary to minimize the consumption of foods most dangerous to dental health, such as sweets and chocolates, foods high in carbohydrates, carbonated sugary drinks, and alcoholic drinks.
The use of fluoride
As a carrier of fluoride additives, food-grade iodinated-fluorinated salt is recommended, which should be added to food during its preparation.
Fluoride-containing toothpastes are recommended for constant two times a day use during teeth brushing for the entire population (with age restrictions on the concentration and consumption of toothpaste for children).
Children under the age of 6 are recommended to use toothpaste with a fluoride concentration of 500 ppm with the dosage size of a small pea.
Children over 6 years of age, adolescents and adults – toothpaste with a fluoride concentration of 1100–1500 ppm with a dosage size 1–1.5 cm.
Visit your dentist at least once a year. In this case preventive measures and, if necessary, dental treatment, will be scheduled and carried out in time. Do not postpone a visit to the dentist if you notice the appearance of white spots on the teeth. Most often, the initial form of caries manifests itself this way. The treatment of dental caries in the early stages is painless and most effective, while in neglected cases the tooth often has to be removed.
Following these simple rules will help keep your teeth healthy.
Dentist of the 4th City Clinical Hospital named after M. Saŭčanka
Čarniaŭski Uladzimir Anatoĺjevič