What Is Oral Health Education?

As we know, our smile is the best accessory we can wear every day. It doesn’t cost much, but a beautiful smile somehow gives us massive confidence to do everything we want to do. This confidence will grow into healthy self-esteem, which will then help us achieve everything we set our eyes on. This is why oral health care education is crucial to a child’s growth and development.

Without oral health education, teeth, tongue, and gums will probably deteriorate along with our hopes and dreams. That sounds overdramatic, but we know how it goes when we’re too shy to smile or to speak out—we usually get left behind or forgotten. Oral health education goes a long way towards filling in the gap in our knowledge and helping us establish an oral health care routine. 

That said, what is oral health care education? What does it entail? Does it mean going to school to learn about how to take better care of our teeth? Let’s find out!

Oral health education defined

Oral health education refers to the process of providing oral health information to the public. Said information must be put into practice by everyone, every day. This information campaign helps people of all ages to develop an oral health care routine to stick to for the rest of their natural lives. Oral health education teaches reliable and vital information and helps them to establish desirable attitudes, habits, and hygiene.

Of course, the information drive does not only include tips about how to properly brush teeth, it also includes some of the most common oral disorders, how to avoid them, and, failing that, how to treat them.

The importance of oral health 

Not everyone realizes this, but oral health is necessary to overall health. It also promotes well-being and a much-improved quality of life. A healthy mouth, after all, not only enables people to eat and speak, but it also helps them socialize without discomfort, embarrassment, or pain.

Untreated dental diseases can lead to severe pain. It can also cause various eating, sleeping, speaking, and learning problems in developing infants and adolescents. All these affect the child’s ability to interact with other people and do well in school. Tooth decay or dental caries in children have a huge impact on the overall nutrition needed by the body for both weight and height growth. 

Most common oral health diseases

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is one of the most common oral health diseases. It may be present in all ages, but children are the ones more likely to succumb to these rather than the more mature and responsible adults. It is caused by frequent consumption of sugar, combined with far from a thorough cleaning of the teeth. The excessive sugar acts with the bacteria on the tooth surface, causing plaque, which will then lead to the most painful tooth decay.

Periodontal disease or gum disease closely follows. The common cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene, which allows bacteria to build up around the base of the teeth. The plaques then release toxins that cause inflammation—a condition known as gingivitis. The later stage of gingivitis is known as periodontitis. This develops when the supporting bone around the teeth becomes progressively destroyed, which excruciatingly loosens the teeth. Periodontal diseases take many years to reach the stage where teeth become loose and may be lost, but without proper care, this, of course, will deteriorate at a more alarming rate.

Dental erosion is also another common oral health problem. This disease is caused by the acid content of several soft drinks and juices. In addition to acid, dental erosion can also be caused by gastric regurgitation, hiatus hernia, or bulimia.

Of course, all these diseases can be prevented by sufficient oral and dental hygiene, which is impossible without oral health education.

What should we use to clean our teeth?

Brushing your teeth every day is one of the best ways to prevent common oral and dental diseases. Of course, to achieve a more reliable brushing of all tooth surfaces and gum margins, you must do so twice every day. Be thorough, but also be gentle. Don’t let your excitement make you brush more vigorously than usual. That said, make sure to use soft to medium toothbrush bristles. They are comfortable and more than adequate when it comes to cleaning all tooth surfaces and gum margins.

Is brushing alone enough? Sadly, no. Other oral hygiene aids like floss and interdental brushes aid in more thorough cleaning, especially if their use has been demonstrated by a dentist. 

Fluoride toothpaste should also help. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral added to a lot of toothpaste brands as it helps to protect dental health. Like everything in excess, too much fluoride can pose health risks. It’s a good thing that the amount added to toothpaste isn’t harmful especially if the product is used properly. As we know, fluoride protects the teeth against decay by strengthening tooth enamel and slowing acid production of bacteria caused by plaque. It’s a must for oral health care.

Oral health education helps inculcate in everyone, irrespective of age and dental condition, how important oral health is and how we should all practice rigorous oral health care routines. In addition, regular oral examinations at intervals of no more than 24 months are also suggested.

As they say, knowledge is power and oral health education provides us with enough ammunition to win at life by preventing oral health problems. If we can avoid getting expensive treatments for dental issues we could have prevented with a proper dental routine, it would be a lot better for our pockets. We can also pass our knowledge along to our kids, to help them establish their oral health care routine. Cleaning our teeth, tongue, gums, and mouth doesn’t take knowledge in rocket science. We just need to be committed and consistent, and we should be fine!

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