Oral Health Month being celebrated across Chatham-Kent
Did you know that a toothbrush could be the key to your success?
That was the observation of a St.Phillipe grade 8 student after participating in the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit’s (CKPHU) “Your Smile is a Work of Art” presentation, and learning the good, the bad and the downright ugly about oral hygiene.
All through the month of April, which was Oral Health Month, members of the oral heath team and a public health dietician visited grade 8 classes throughout the municipality to talk about why taking care of your mouth, including the drink choices you make, is so important to your overall health.
Oral Health For Total Health was also the theme of this year’s National Registered Dental Hygienist’s week (April 9-13), stressing the important role taking care of your teeth, gums and mouth plays in your overall health.
Eating, talking and smiling with a healthy, pain-free mouth are easy to take for granted. A toothache is more than “just a toothache”; the pain can make it hard to eat, sleep or concentrate and if left untreated, could turn into a major infection. Bacteria from dental plaque can make its way into your bloodstream through untreated cavities, inflamed or bleeding gums or even after being swallowed. These bacteria can then travel all through your body, causing new health problems or making an existing problem much worse. Some studies have even found that bacteria in your bloodstream may contribute to the formation of artery-clogging plaque.
Like any work of art, it takes time and patience to create your beautiful smile. Brushing twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste along with daily flossing to remove bacteria from between the teeth are two of the most important steps to help keep your smile bright. Do not forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath!
Choosing healthy foods and non sugar-sweetened drinks for meals and snacks is important too. “Re-think your drink”, even though there are many sugary drink choices available, remember that water is the best choice for hydrating and quenching your thirst.
The sugar in drinks like pop, sports drink and fruit punches can coat your teeth and give bacteria a great place to grow.