World Oral Health Day 2020: Did you know that difficulty in pronouncing certain words comes under oral health?

Published: Mar 20, 2020, 12:38 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

It is rightly said that 'Your mouth is amazing! It helps you to eat, speak and smile confidently - to enjoy life'

World Oral Health Day
World Oral Health Day

Enjoying an ice-cream in the summer heat or binging on junk while 'netflix and chill' is not something that teens of today would compromise on. The world observed Oral Health Day on March 20th which helps in raising awareness on the general oral health. Keeping in mind that a large chunk of teenagers don't brush their teeth at night and are traditionally known to consume the highest amount of junk food, we speak to a paedtric dentist, Dr Ipshita Suyash who throws light on the matter.

Talking about brushing one's teeth twice a day, Dr Ipshita says, "White slimy particles called pellicle/tartar are continuously formed on the surface of our teeth. If this is not cleaned our regularly, it becomes compact and sticks onto the surface of the tooth (plaque). Moreover so it starts building a colony on our teeth, in our gums and proceeds to inhabit our mouth. This colony consists of millions of bacteria, which produce acids. This is the start of bad breath, tooth decay and gum issues. A simple act to tooth brushing two times prevents the tartar from becoming attached to our tooth, preventing a decline in our oral health."

Dr Ipshita also emphasizes on the fact that many a time one may follow a strong oral hygiene routine and still have bad breath and she says, "Here it is not the lack of oral hygiene, which creates oral health issues, but the misdiagnosis of the underlying cause. Many children and adults, suffer from the habit of mouth breathing. Even though oral hygiene is maintained to the best of their ability, the other issues that come along with the habit of reduced saliva (which increases plaque), tongue positioning along with crooked teeth, leads to the persistent bad breath."

Talking about the relation of mouth breathing with oral hygiene, she says, "52 per cent of children are seen to have poor oral hygiene due to mouth breathing. 3 out of 4 children develop crooked teeth at age 4 due to the habit induced pressures. Snoring is seen in 56 per cent males and 48 per cent females, which is a classic symptom of breathing issue. The signs of small jaws, crooked teeth and increased decay (reduced oral health) are all seen in patients who have an underlying habit."

Sometimes, we even don't pay heed to our smiles, the way we eat or even if we have issues with pronouncing certain words. However, do we realise that all of this comes under oral health? Throwing light on the matter, Dr Ipshita says, "Slurpee orange ice bars, Indian mithai and lemonade all become unthinkable when we have a toothache. Lisp or the difficulty in pronouncing certain words are linked to tongue issues. We are very conscious about our smile when we have crooked teeth. These entail a part of dentistry, which is called emotional dentistry. Going to the dentist today doesn't include just a drill and fill. With the advance in dental technology, preventive measures and minimally invasive procedures dentistry helps individuals become healthy and happy."

While talking about an ideal oral hygiene routine, many of us may believe that one should brush their teeth post breakfast. "Cleaning your teeth after a meal is an ideal way to maintain oral health. However brushing right after a meal is discouraged. This is because acidic food consumed (juices /citrus fruits) tends to make our tooth’s enamel vulnerable. Immediate tooth brushing could render teeth sensitive. 30-45 minutes should be the waiting period to brush, after a meal."

She also recommends the 2-cube rule. "2X2X2 (2 min brushing X 2 times a day X 2 hours of no food). I recommend the no food rule, as in improves the efficacy of the toothpaste. Flossing once a day, tongue cleaning and mouth rinses (dentist guided) are the additional oral hygiene measures, which should be incorporated too."

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