As the global community marks another World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2024, the focus remains on raising awareness on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene practices for overall health and well-being.

The theme of World Oral Health Day 2024 is “A Happy Mouth is A Happy Body” underscores the role of early intervention and prevention in oral health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), oral health tends to be overlooked in person-centered health and well-being with oral diseases affecting billions of people worldwide, with tooth decay and gum disease being among the most prevalent conditions.

Poor oral health not only leads to pain and discomfort but also contributes to systemic health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory infections.

Oral diseases, such as dental caries, gum diseases, and tooth loss, remain prevalent in the WHO African Region, affecting about 44% of the population.

Some of the common mouth diseases are bad breathe also called halitosis. Around 85% of people with bad breath have a dental complaint. Gum disease, tooth decay, mouth cancer, dry mouth and bacteria on the tongue are some of the dental problems that can cause bad breath.

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Tooth decay is the second most prevalent illness after a common cold. It occurs when bacterial plaque is combined with sugar or starchy food. This combination causes acid that attacks dental.

In light of these challenges, efforts to promote preventive oral care and raise awareness about oral health have gained significant momentum. Dental professionals, public health organizations, and governments are joining forces to educate communities on the importance of daily oral hygiene practices, regular dental check-ups, and a balanced diet for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Children, in particular, are encouraged to adopt good oral hygiene habits from a young age to prevent future dental problems.

Health experts advocate for regular dental checkups at least twice yearly and advise individuals to brush twice daily; first thing before breakfast and last thing after meal.

On a global scale, the World Oral Health Day serves as a platform to advocate for oral health policies, sustainable practices, and equitable access to dental services for all.

“Your teeth and smile are some of the most appealing parts of your body. Nothing is more welcoming than a bright and clean smile.”