MidCentral District Health Board is marking World Oral Health Day on 20 March. It is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth, to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health, and the importance of oral hygiene for everyone, old and young.
The day’s theme is getting everyone to recognise the impact their oral health has on overall physical health and wellbeing. The overall campaign platform will be: “It all starts here. Healthy mouth. Healthy body.”
Why is the day important? Because 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime and many of them can be avoided with increased governmental, health association and society support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programmes.
You can see your mouth as the gateway to your body. The leading cause of tooth decay and health problems is soft drinks. District Health Boards in New Zealand have taken action by no longer selling sugar sweetened drinks. These drinks have a lot of sugar in them, but no nutrition, so it is easy to keep drinking them. This causes tooth decay, obesity and type-2 diabetes. MidCentral DHB removed these drinks last year.
Nelson-Marlborough DHB is now taking a step further and will also remove artificially-sweetened beverages and juices. Instead, water, plain milk, teas and coffee will be available. Artificially-sweetened beverages may be free of calories but not of consequences. They encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence and are strongly associated with dental erosion due to their high acidity.
Having regular dental checks helps to find problems early. Checks are free for children until they turn 18. To find your nearest dental clinic freephone 0800 825 583.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945