World Oral Health Day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that oral disease affects nearly 3.5 billion people globally. Oral disease such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss can negatively impact people throughout their lives. It can cause pain, poor nutrition, and loss of self-confidence. It is often linked to other serious health issues such as heart disease, respiratory infections, and can also affect health during pregnancy. The good news is many oral disease conditions are preventable and can be treated in their early stages.

The FDI World Health Organization created World Oral Health Day in 2007 to help increase awareness of oral health issues and reduce oral disease by focusing on prevention. The three (3) main risk factors that contribute to oral disease are:

  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • An unhealthy diet high in sugar.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use.

Give your teeth, gums, and mouth the best!

Celebrate World Oral Health Day with a healthy smile. Protect your teeth and gums from oral disease. Practice good dental health habits for a positive impact on your well-being. Below are oral health tips to help you and the people you care for, maintain the best oral health.

Stick to a daily oral hygiene routine.

  • Brush for two (2) minutes, twice (2) a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Use a manual or electric toothbrush. Brush the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
  • Floss at least once a day. This is one of the best ways to prevent oral disease. Cleaning between your teeth daily helps removes plaque that forms along the gumline and between teeth.
  • Use a fluoride mouth rinse. This may be a helpful addition to a daily oral hygiene routine. A mouth rinse can help reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. Click here to learn more.

See a dentist for preventive oral care.

  • Routine check-ups and dental cleanings can help prevent oral disease. Checkups can help detect and treat gum disease, which occurs when the gums are inflamed or infected. A dental cleaning can help remove hardened dental plaque known as tartar. This can help prevent a serious form of gum disease that can cause the gums to recede or destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
  • A dentist can provide you with guidance on daily dental care such as brushing your teeth properly and flossing to prevent oral disease.
  • A dental team can advise you how to protect your oral health through eating a nutritious, balanced, low-sugar diet, and avoiding tobacco and substance use.

Click here for a list of community medical and dental health centers in Orange County. You can also call the OC Health Referral line at 1-800-564-8448, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Extra tips for good oral health.

  • Replace your toothbrush every three months. Change any toothbrush with worn or missing bristles. A toothbrush or brush head with bristles in good shape will remove plaque from your teeth and gums effectively. Remember to replace your toothbrush if you have been sick.
  • Drink water in place of sugar beverages. Juice, soda, or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar on your teeth. Water has no sugar and cleans your mouth with every sip. It helps wash away leftover food and sugar.
  • Stay away from substance use. Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs can increase the risk of gum disease, dry mouth, and tooth erosion. Substance use can also cause harmful effects on the body.
  • Try sugarless gum. Studies have shown chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth (ADA).

Additional resources to help you maintain good oral health.

Eight (8) bad brushing habits to break > from the American Dental Association (ADA).

The importance of seeing the dentist > A short video from the ADA.

Mind your mouth > Read a tip sheet on preventing gum disease from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

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