Media release: Oral health is important
For Immediate Release
15 June 2022
There is simply no health without oral health according to dentist Dr Dillon Manuel. “Good oral health is one of the most important practices to prevent future pain and discomfort. The role of a dentist is to preserve and prevent oral diseases of teeth, gingiva and supporting structures. With good oral health practices, treating pain and sepsis will not have to be an everyday occurrence. A beautiful smile can be a person’s most inexpensive gift”, he said.
Around 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases at some point in their lifetime.
The following guidelines are important contributors towards good oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice a day – in the morning and before going to bed.
- Brushing harder doesn’t clean better. Brushing hard damages the tooth and causes tooth sensitivity.
- Floss daily to prevent cavities in between teeth. Brushing alone does not reach these areas.
- Brush for at least 2 minutes. Many people brush fast which does not adequately clean the teeth well.
- Avoid drinks and foods with high quantity of sugar. This is not only good for oral health but also overall health.
- Use toothpaste and mouth wash with fluoride.
Many parents are misinformed about the importance of primary teeth (baby teeth) and therefore neglect their children’s oral hygiene.
Dentist, Dr Julien Joubert explains. “It is very important to brush the teeth of young children because baby teeth become carious (rotten) very quickly. Limit the sugar in the bottle and don’t let them sleep with the bottle. Brush the teeth twice a day. If it comes to the point where one has to extract the baby teeth, the permanent teeth often come out skewed and the smile can be spoiled. It is all preventable and I prefer if they get to me before it is so bad that I have to extract. I prefer to save teeth by doing a filling when possible. The back baby teeth are particularly important and hold space open for the permanent teeth to erupt into”.
Tips for parents for oral hygiene for children:
- Use a clean, damp wash cloth (with toothpaste the size of rice grain) to gently wipe clean the first teeth and the front of the tongue, after meals and at bedtime.
- Never put your child to bed with bottle or food.
- If your child wants to have the bottle or sippy cup in between meals, try to fill it with water only
- Avoid giving your children sugary drinks (including juice) or sticky foods.
- Visit the dentist as soon as your baby’s first teeth appears.
Good oral health is also important for your overall health. “Periodontal gum disease creates a portal of entry for bacteria into the bloodstream and some of the bacteria can affect the heart. It can put the body in a pro-inflammatory state which can make the person more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease can progress very rapidly and if left uncontrolled, all the teeth could be lost. Vitamin C intake is also very important because it is needed to build and maintain the tissues around the teeth”, said Dr Joubert.
The Garden Route district offers oral health services at selected facilities. Please contact your local facility to make an appointment for the next oral health visit.
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 044 813 1831