Today is World Oral Health Day 2019
Organized by FDI World Dental Federation, this is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health. (1)
FDI World Dental Federation is the largest membership based dental organization in the world. It is the principle representative body of over 1 million dentists worldwide. (2)
WOHD spreads messages about good oral hygiene practices and the importance of optimal oral health in maintaining general health and wellbeing. (1)
It is an International Day to promote good oral health for everyone and empower individuals to maintain a healthy mouth at all ages. (3)
FDI Definition of Oral Health
Oral health is multi-faceted and includes the ability to –
speak | smile | smell | taste | touch | chew | swallow | convey emotions through facial expressions with Confidence
Without disease of the craniofacial complex (2)
Most people will suffer from an oral condition in their lifetime
Many conditions can be avoided with
increased awareness | funding for prevention | detection and treatment programmes
FDI encourages all member National Dental Associations | Governments | Non-Governmental Organizations | Media to participate in WOHD to develop community, national, regional and global activities to improve oral health. (3)
Each year WOHD focus on a specific theme to reach the public, oral health professionals and policymakers to reduce the burden of oral disease.
Theme for this year – ‘Say Ahh: Act on Mouth Health’
Campaign calls for concrete action for good oral health (4)
The Say Ahh theme is a 3 year campaign launched in 2018
It empowers you to keep a healthy mouth and helps you maintain your general health and wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy mouth is crucial to keeping it functioning correctly and for maintaining overall health and quality of life.
The focus –
1. oral health is much more than a nice smile
2. oral health and general health have a two-way relationship
3. the mouth cannot be isolated from the rest of the body
4. most oral diseases share common risk factors with other diseases (3)
World Oral Health Day date is 20th March and chosen to reflect that:
- Seniors must have a total of 20 natural teeth at the end of their life to be considered healthy
- Children should possess 20 baby teeth
- Healthy adults must have a total of 32 teeth and 0 dental cavities
- Expressed on a numerical basis this can be translated as 3/20
Previous Campaign Themes
2013 Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Life
2014 Celebrating Healthy Smiles
2015 Smile for Life!
2016 Healthy Mouth. Healthy Body
2017 Live Mouth Smart
2018 Say Ahh: Think Mouth Think Health
FDI relies on individual action worldwide to roll out World Oral Health Day in each country and create a truly global movement. (1)
Are we paying attention to this
We have an International Day asking us to look at our own oral health
The message for this year is to say Ahh and Act on Mouth Health
Who comes up with this stuff and is this all Real and tangible
Do any of us even know how many teeth we actually have
What if the size of our mouth means we do not have 32 teeth
Does that mean we are not healthy oral health adults, because we do not fit the numbers of 2 and 3 that are mentioned to define why 20th March was chosen
Is this all encompassing, confusing, or not really making any sense ?
Most of us at some point are going to visit a dentist and this blog is saying that things could be different when it comes to our oral health.
Have we considered that it is simply a choice to do our best every single day to maintain proper oral health hygiene.
So where do we start and what is our personal responsibility here
Are we ready to make the movements needed for this call
Do we want to be a statistic or are we going to buck the trend
Do we all need to start first with a big dose of Honesty
How lazy are we when it comes to looking after our teeth
Do we chew gum thinking it makes our breath smell good
Do we use those mint sweets all day as a breath freshener
Do we find ways to mask our Coffee breath
Do we hate the fact that we have ciggie breath
Do we bang on about not having any time to do this teeth business
Would we rather be doing something else than brushing our teeth
Is taking care of our mouth something we really don’t want to think about
Are we hoping for some fast quick fix Solution which means no more teeth brushing forever as this would suit our lifestyle.
Are we even remotely interested in what dental hygiene is all about
Have we ever visited a dental hygienist and woke up to the fact that there is a job for us here to do daily.
Would we rather spend money on a new set of front teeth veneers than give up the bad habits that got our teeth into a mess in the first place.
Are we going for the Oscars Hollywood smile teeth, which are now possible with a payment plan.
Are we planning an overseas trip to get a whole new set of teeth because our front teeth are really looking bad and the back teeth are rotting.
Are we going for the whole hog and getting a new set of teeth to make us look young and a non-smoker, just because we can.
Are we always looking at other people’s teeth and comparing them to our own and noticed we have become a bit obsessed with it all.
Do we have self fury at another person’s choices, those who make the effort to keep their teeth in good order.
Are we interested in this twice a day brushing and paying attention to detail with our busy Fast life.
Are we one of those who don’t bother brushing our teeth on our day off as we are in ‘not going out’ mode
Are we noticing that our breath is stinking more than usual and we are struggling to find stronger mouth wash to do the job.
Are we big into mouthwash and cologne as it is a must for our hot dates
Do we wing it most nights with a quick mouth wash as its way too late
Have we noticed that those new mouth washes have even more Alcohol which strips the delicate tissue on the sides of our mouth
Have we become obsessed with our Just Incase Syndrome and we always overdo it with the mouth wash every day.
Global Mouthwash Market to surpass
$2,841.7 million by 2026
2017 – valued at $1,817.8 million (5)
Did we all know that Mouthwash is projected to be one of the most lucrative markets in consumer goods, globally.
There are 2 types –
Cosmetic mouthwash is designed to improve breath odour
Therapeutic mouthwash includes fluoride, antiseptic and herbal products
87.9% adults used internet to purchase mouthwash products
Office of National Statistics | 2016 (6)
Is it really because we like the easy delivery options, secured payment options, promotions and other marketing that brings the mouthwash to our door OR is it because we do not want other people to see our supermarket trolley full of mouthwash as it would look a bit exposing.
WHY on earth are we finding a rise in sales of this stuff we gargle without giving it any thought of what actually goes into it.
How many of us don’t touch alcohol but have never stopped to consider our mouthwash has a dose in it.
If we read Simple Living Global – The Real Truth about Alcohol on this website we get to know Alcohol is a scientific proven poison.
Imagine what mouthwash does every time we swish it in our mouth because we think this is good oral hygiene and it reaches places we can’t with our toothbrush.
What if the missing ingredient is actually real education about our mouth, tongue, teeth and gums from someone who has all this in good order.
What if the best teachers and presenters are those who walk the talk.
In other words, they have great teeth and their gums are in good condition according to their dental hygienist. Add to that they have not had any dental work going on for decades.
Could we learn a thing or two from them and are we likely to pay attention knowing they are actually living what they are sharing with us.
Could this be the education of the future and that means – those who live it have a responsibility to share and so what if this puts the global mouthwash industry out of business.
Are we ready World for this type of Back to Basics Real Education
It is up to each and every one of us to say Yes and until then we can continue to expect significant growth on all oral health care products.
There is no need to wait for the world and its brothers to change because real change starts with us first and then we reflect that change to others, not by banging on about it or preaching – just living it day in and day out to the best of our ability. No Perfect needed.
Do we hate the smell of our partners bad breath but put up with it as that’s just part of what we do.
Do we avoid getting close to those at work who suffer with halitosis
Do we wish we could just learn to say “your breath really stinks mate”
Would we just love to say “excuse me you have very bad smelling breath”
Do we lack the understanding and education about basic and general oral health and hygiene.
Do we live life in Regret because we never ever took care of our teeth
Do we get blisters or mouth ulcers from eating certain foods that we love
Do we have teeth marks on the insides of our mouth which are tender
Do we avoid making the appointment at the dentist because we know what’s coming and it’s going to be way too pain-full for us and our budget.
Do we dread the next dental bill as it seems to be never ending
Do we feel exhausted at this endless dental work that we need
Do we keep up with the strong painkillers when our teeth are trying to tell us SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT
Do we look the part of a real cool dude but the world doesn’t know we have false back teeth as they were rotten and got pulled out long ago.
Do we hate the fact we have got some dentures at such a young age
Do we deliberately not smile as we know how stained our teeth are
Do we have great hair but we avoid smiling as our teeth are rotten
Do we nag the kids to brush their teeth but never spend time showing them how it is done properly.
Do we find teaching our children about good oral health, a job we wish we didn’t have to do.
Do we religiously and meticulously take care of our teeth and gums
Do we find the time and space every evening to floss our teeth Gently
Do we know that staying Consistent with this oral health business daily has great benefits for us in the long term.
Do we realise that looking after our oral health has a knock on effect.
Could it be possible to get to a point where we actually value and appreciate the job of looking after our teeth and gums.
World Health Organization
Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, wellbeing and quality of life
WHO defines oral health as a state of being free from –
Chronic mouth and facial pain
Oral and throat Cancer
Oral infections and sores
Periodontal (gum) disease
Other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in
Key Facts – 24 September 2018
Oral diseases are the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
They affect people throughout their lifetime causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016
3.58 billion people (50% world population) affected by oral diseases
Tooth Decay in permanent teeth most prevalent condition assessed
2.4 billion people suffer from dental caries (tooth decay)
486 million children suffer from caries of primary teeth (7)
60% – 90% children have tooth decay globally
50 million school hours lost each year due to poor oral health
Millions of days off work lost to poor oral health with social and economic impact (8)
The main causes of gum disease –
Poor Oral Hygiene and Tobacco use
Severe tooth loss and edentulism (no natural tooth) was one of the leading ten causes of YLD – Years Lived with Disability in some high-income countries.
Cancer of lip and oral cavity – within top 3 of all cancers in some Asian-Pacific countries.
Note – areca nut (also known as beta nut) is a fruit that is chewed and spat out like chewing tobacco.
It stains the teeth and mouth red and is highly addictive
10 – 20% world population chews areca nut in some form
Most common method of using areca nut is to slice it into thin strips and roll in a betel leaf with slaked lime powder or crushed seashells.
Leaf package known as betel quid | betel nut chew | betel paan
Betel quids may also contain Tobacco2 and other additives such as cloves | cardamom | nutmeg | aniseed | coconut | sugar | syrups | fruit extracts (9)
Areca nut with or without tobacco is carcinogenic to humans
The risk of malignancy further increases with addition of smokeless tobacco
Lime used in the quid has high concentrations of arsenic
Areca nut users have
Poor oral hygiene
Poor periodontal health
Increase in gingival lesions
Bleeding of gums
Mild to severe physiological loss of tooth structure is common among users (10)
PAPAU NEW GUINEA
80% of the population chew areca nut
98% people with mouth cancer chew areca nut
World’s highest rate of malignant mouth cancer
Mouth cancer highest killer for men
Mouth cancer 3rd highest cause of death for women
Children as young as 8 years old are habitual betel chewers (11)
Behavioural risk factors for oral diseases such as an unhealthy diet, high in free sugars, Tobacco use and harmful use of Alcohol are shared with other major non-communicable diseases – Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer, Chronic Respiratory Diseases and Diabetes.
How many of us have heard of this areca nut, which is highly addictive
Are we aware of a country in our world which confirms that mouth cancer is a direct result of chewing areca nut
10 – 20% of the entire world is chewing this stuff which is killing us
WHY are we not asking Questions and getting to the root cause of this highly addictive psychoactive substance
The burden of oral diseases can be reduced through public health interventions by addressing common risk factors, which include –
1) Promoting a well-balanced diet –
- Low in free sugars to prevent – development of dental caries | premature tooth loss | other diet-related non-communicable diseases
- With adequate fruit and vegetable intake, which may have a protective role in oral cancer prevention
2) Reduce smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco including chewing or areca nuts and alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancers, periodontal disease and tooth loss
3) Encouraging use of protective equipment when doing Sports and travelling in motor vehicles to reduce the risk of facial injuries. (7)
Concise Oxford English Dictionary
Halitosis – unpleasant smelling breath (12)
Technical term for bad breath (13)
25% affected by bad breath (14)
Periodontitis May Increase Risk of Dementia
New study adds to growing evidence – chronic periodontitis risk factor for dementia
Periodontitis occurs when an untreated gum infection spreads to the roots of the teeth, causing destruction of the supporting bone and connective tissues.
It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults
Study found people over age 70 living with periodontitis for over 10 years were 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. (15)
20% – 90% Tooth Decay among 6 year old children (16)
50% of population suffer from some form of periodontitis
€79 Billion current EU spending
€93 Billion if trends continue next year – 2020
Studies show the mouth is the most expensive part of the body to treat
Strong evidence that benefits of preventing tooth decay exceed cost of treatment (17)
3,200 diagnosed every year with oral cancer
1,050 deaths occur from oral cancer (18)
Oral Health and Dental Care
30% adults reported condition of mouth and teeth as fair or poor
20% suffered anxiety due to condition of their mouth and teeth
43% aged 2 to 19 suffered from dental caries (19)
62% adults too afraid to visit the dentist (20)
Oral Cavity and Pharynx Cancer
51,540 new cases of Oral Cavity and Pharynx Cancer
10,030 were due to die from the disease (21)
Millennials Terrible at keeping Teeth Clean
30% brush their teeth once a day
Average millennial gone more than 2 days without brushing teeth
56% are worried about losing teeth due to their oral health (20)
2017 – 18
26,000 children aged 5 to 9 admitted to hospital due to tooth decay
Rise in number for second consecutive year for 5 to 9 age group
Tooth decay remains number one reason children admitted to hospital
31% age 5 – 9 did not visit an NHS dentist in 12 months leading up to 30 June 2018 (20)
30% People Regularly Forget to Brush their Teeth
2,000 adults survey found many have inconsistent approach to dental hygiene
80% said currently suffering with or have suffered with oral health problems
60% say they did not take sufficient care of their mouths
43% did not know how to maintain a healthy mouth
1 in 10 use chewing gum instead of toothpaste to keep teeth clean
Experts say the majority of oral health problems can be prevented or reduced through daily oral care. (22)
How are we choosing to brush our teeth
How often are we brushing your teeth
How important is our teeth brushing task
Do we love brushing our teeth
Do we give our teeth the time and space daily
Do we have a moment of rest when brushing teeth
Do we floss our teeth properly
Do we use a tongue scraper
Do we loathe it and wish we didn’t have to do it
Do we even hate the thought of taking care of teeth
Do we wish teeth brushing was never invented
Do we avoid anything to do with teeth
Do we only clean our teeth in the morning
Do we miss some teeth when we are brushing
Do we bother to take care of all teeth equally
Do our teeth actually hurt when we start to brush
Do our gums bleed every time we brush our teeth
Do we feel we have the wrong toothbrush size
Do we use any toothpaste as it just isn’t important
Do we have the attitude that teeth are not our Priority
Do we wait for severe pain before going to the dentist
Do we reckon we have super sensitive teeth and gums
Do we honestly and truly care about those teeth
Do we care deeply enough to consistently get check ups
Do we bother to see a dental hygienist who could teach us a thing or two about taking care of our teeth and gums
Are we fanatical about teeth cleaning
Are we into teeth rituals just before bed only
Are we Plugged in and Connected when we do our teeth
Do we Focus and pay attention to our teeth
Do we wish we had perfect white teeth like movie stars
Do we have a constant ache deep inside the root of our teeth
Do we have a nagging sense something is not right with our teeth
Do we dread the day we need to wear false teeth
Do we avoid at all costs having the dodgy tooth pulled out
Do we refuse to pay a dentist as we simply don’t value our teeth
How many of us are brushing our teeth on autopilot –
without our mind focused on the task we are doing
What if we start with something as Simple as brushing our teeth twice a day
The following handout is from the Simple Living Global Back to Basics Program
It is super important to make this a part of the morning and bedtime routine
Have your toothbrush ready
If electric – have both bits
Tongue scraper, if you use one
Towel nearby or over the shoulder
Stand facing the sink
Feel your feet and steady your balance
Move and clear anything in your way
This is time to Focus on the task
Use fingertips to open the toothpaste
Squeeze gently on to the brush
Close the cap of the toothpaste
Check your posture and feet position
Open the tap gently using fingertips
Run water over toothpaste slightly
Brush into the mouth – Super Gently
Important – time to really Focus now
Start with one corner inside
Close your eyes if it helps to focus
Use the mirror if that supports you
Do all of this slowly and gently
The purpose here is to clean the teeth
Stay with the job and not choose distraction
Check if you are doing this with force
In other words, it feels hard and rough
Can you feel your gums – are they sensitive
Do you have pain in any area of the mouth
Have you seen if your gums are bleeding
Clock which teeth hurt or feel very sensitive
Our gums are very tender, so be tender
If you have a small toothbrush or electric
Start with anti-clockwise – lower inside first
Then go to the outer teeth and repeat again
Now do the chewing teeth on the surface
Repeat on the upper teeth – inside and out
Remember to go under the top chewing teeth
Have another go if you feel to or it is needed
Make sure each tooth has had your attention
It is ok to allow saliva and toothpaste out
Time to thoroughly rinse your mouth
Cup your hands and get the water in
Whoosh around the mouth and repeat
Do this several times until all feels clean
Now rinse your toothbrush
Run your finger into the brush with water
Make sure it is clean with no toothpaste
Let the water run clear, then shake and dry
If electric, remove and rinse battery part
Dry with towel and place where it belongs
If you use a tongue scraper
Get your balance first and stand over sink
Do this with super attention and focus
Do not go too far back near the throat area
Very gently start at back of tongue
Scrape and rinse then repeat again
The detail and precision are important
No need to ever be gagging
Final rinse with mouth again
Then wipe and hang up your scraper
Keep your teeth brushing bits in same place
The key is to make sure your mind is with you whilst you are doing this very simple task.
Our teeth are worth the effort, focus and attention to make sure we are present when we brush our teeth – that means no distractions.
Apply common sense at all times and that means if gums are bleeding, teeth are loose or aching – get to the dentist and have it checked out.
This publication is ©Copyright and the Moral Rights of the Author, Bina Pattel and Simple Living Global are asserted. Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended, no part of this work may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission. Inquiries should be addressed to Simple Living Global – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(20) Paul, S. (2018, February 23). Millennials are Terrible at Keeping their Teeth Clean. New York Post. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from
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