Good oral health can help you live a happier and healthier life and so World Oral Health Day (WOHD) aims to inspire change by focusing on the importance of oral health for overall health. WOHD is held each year, on the 20 March to unite the world to help reduce the burden of oral health diseases which affect individuals, health systems and economies everywhere.
Oxfordshire Community Dental Service is Oxford Health’s community dental service which focuses daily on providing dental care to children and adult patients who have a range of enhanced care needs such as learning disabilities, mental health concerns, phobias, or a medical condition which means they are unable to access a high street dentist.
The service is passionate about oral health and wants to tell everyone why oral health is important.
Liza Sherry, Advanced Health Improvement Practitioner, said: “Looking after our own or helping someone to look after their oral health is something that we can all do. We can all help make a difference and have a positive impact on making our lives or the lives of others healthier.”
Top tips for oral health
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm of fluoride. Brush last thing at night and at one other time during the day.
- Spit any excess toothpaste out after brushing, no need to rinse the toothpaste away with water or mouthwash; we want to give the fluoride a chance to protect the teeth.
- Swap to healthier food, drink and snack alternatives
- Visit your dentist and take your child to the dentist before their first birthday.
Why is Oral Health important?
The team is often asked why oral health is important. They say:
- There is an inter-relationship between oral health and general health. Your Oral health can affect your general health and vice-versa. For example, a person’s ability to follow a healthy diet may be affected by their oral health due to dental caries or decay which can be painful and stop that person from eating a diet that will keep their body healthy.
- Poor oral health can affect someone’s ability to communicate. For example, a child may become frustrated and have difficulty in communicating if they are in pain due to dental decay or have had to have a lot of teeth removed due to decay.
- Oral health can affect our self-esteem. If yourself or a child are unhappy with your smile, then this can affect your self-esteem and self-confidence and your wish to socialise or participate fully at work or join in at college.
- Good oral health can help prevent unnecessary pain and suffering which can impact on lost school or work hours.
- Good oral health can help us to have a good quality of life and comfort.
The Oxfordshire Community Dental Service is able to deliver training and information sessions and support to staff and service users who are more vulnerable. Email Oral.Health@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk for more information.
Find an NHS dentist by clicking on this link.
More information about our Oxfordshire Community Dental Service can be found here.