A day to think of your mouth

Oral Health Day today; brushing, chewing sugar-free gum advised.

By Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 21 Mar 2014, 12:12 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:57 PM

The UAE is joining countries across the world observing World Oral Health Day (WOHD) today to promote the benefits of maintaining a healthy mouth.

In the UAE, gum disease affects an estimated 80-85 per cent of residents and tooth decay — a completely preventable condition — is the most widespread chronic health condition affecting approximately four out of every five children.

Quick look

> One in 4 residents say that having good hygiene is what makes them most confident, even before being stylish

> 28% say they brush their teeth once in the morning

> One out of 10 residents in the UAE have no set brushing routine

> Only 13% brush their teeth after a meal

> 56% residents are unaware that chewing sugar-free gum can help prevent tooth decay

Source: YoUGov OmniBus Survey 2013

Leading dental professionals stress oral hygiene habits need to be improved, and that a few easy-to-adopt steps can not only improve smiles, but also the overall health. This year, WOHD is especially important for dental professionals in the UAE, as there are now local sponsors of this global initiative, including the Extra Oral Healthcare Program (EOHP), who are committed to helping UAE residents have healthy smiles.

Leading dental expert Dr Nasser Malik, chairman of the UAE International Dental Conference and Arab Dental Exhibition (AEEDC), said: “World Oral Health Day is becoming an increasingly important global health observance day, as people are beginning to understand that there is a link between oral hygiene and an array of other health conditions.

Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are essential to a good oral care routine, but the simple addition of chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking can significantly improve oral health. An oral care routine which runs throughout the day is important for maintaining a healthy smile, especially given the fact that many people snack outside of meal times.”

Ninety per cent of the world’s population suffer from some type of oral disease during their life, ranging from cavities, gum diseases and tooth decay to more severe conditions such as oral cancer. According to data, in the UAE, many major risk factors for oral diseases are extremely high, for example tobacco use and unhealthy diets.

“The key to having a healthy smile is the understanding that the first line of oral health care is prevention and maintaining a recommended oral health care routine. I urge dentists throughout the UAE to use World Oral Health Day as an opportunity to speak with their patients about how brushing, flossing and even chewing sugar-free gum when on-the-go can all help maintain beautiful smiles,” said Dr Malik.

“Likewise, I hope parents start the conversation with their children early, so they too understand the importance of oral health and how easy it can be to take care of their smiles.” Organised globally by the World Dental Federation (FDI), WOHD is celebrated every March to promote awareness of issues around oral health. This year, more than 100 countries across the world will be celebrating WOHD.


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