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Why is Oral Health Important?

As a young child I loved to catch glimpses of my developing canines in my princess mirror. Every night I prayed for a loose tooth and playfully poked and prodded at the roof of my mouth. A secret signal to the unknown forces and the tooth fairy to slip a $2 coin my way through the portal of my magic pillow. I would grab a hold of any unlucky sucker and twist away, feeling around with my tongue for the little bloody gap in between my roots and gums. But brushing my teeth was a whole other story.
Before each dentist visit, I prepared myself religiously. Internally my mind ran a checklist: Do a double brush, the singular floss of the year, and attempt to remove all signs of plaque build up with a quick wipe. This flimsy line of defense was set up in all hopes that my dentist would not notice the steady diet of candy and Coke my grandmother frequently fed me. I was careless and brash with my irregular oral care, developing 2 cavities along the way. But when my brother came home one day with garish discolored fillings from a fair roster of cavities, I knew I had to take this matter more seriously in order to avoid that same fate. From then onwards, my little brain swore to never neglect my teeth again.
Teeth are an essential part of the human body. They are the starting point of the long process of digestion and complement our lungs with natural gaps that allow airflow to form vocal noises when we speak. Every meal we ever consume travels through their route, along with every word we enunciate (Neumors Kids health, “Mouth & Teeth”). They are solid and unique structures that range from heavy duty molars to sharp powerful incisors allowing for food to be ground into a digestible combination of saliva and nutrients that fuels our bodies (Medical News Today, “Teeth: Names, Types, and Functions”).
So when oral negligence occurs, it triggers a whole range of issues. Common bad habits including poor diet, shoddy dental hygiene, and smoking forge a road for tooth decay. Tooth decay signals its early arrival through plaque formations and attacks, later evolving into an entire cavity that strikes at the enamel. Disintegrating teeth, these pitiful black caries introduce an array of symptoms including tooth loss, severe toothache, infection, and bloody gums (NHS Inform, “Tooth Decay”).
If ignored, cavities can lead to long-term issues such as gum disease and chronic pain when eating (Mayo Clinic, “Cavities/Tooth Decay”). Tooth Abscesses, a common result of cavities, is a severe infection that creates little pockets of pus in either the gums or root tips (Mayo Clinic, “Tooth Abscess”). Furthermore, poor oral hygiene has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (Healthline, “Everything You Need to Know About Dental and Oral Health”).
In conclusion, oral health is important because it protects our smile and teeth, fending off ruthless cavities and infections. Our teeth are priceless. They enable us to speak and make life more enjoyable whether it be through that mouthful of pepperoni pizza or steaming mashed potatoes. They are one of a kind, precious, and meant to be treated with respect and care. So the next time the idea of: “I can brush them tomorrow” pops up, think again, and grab that toothbrush.


Why is Oral Health Important?

Vanity, looks, self confidence, overall health? The truth is oral health is important for all of the above reasons. Some people think that teeth are just a minor insignificant part of the human body. That as long as we brush twice a day, we are fine; But the reality of it is, teeth play an important role in our overall health. It affects how we eat, speak, breathe and it also plays an important role in how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, not only do we need to brush and floss daily but we must also get regular check ups and eat a healthy diet in order to detect potential issues and correct them early as well as keep them in optimal health. Failing to do so, can have detrimental consequences to our daily living.

My younger sister used to suck her thumb up until the age of 9. My parents tried everything to make her stop but nothing worked. As a result, her teeth were crooked, the shape of her mouth/mandibule/bite was negatively impacted; And at school, her teachers noticed that her speech was affected and she was referred to a speech pathologist. She was ashamed and wouldn’t speak or smile for fear of being ridiculed for her teeth or speech. The only solution were braces. She is now a teenager and I see first hand how confident she is now that her teeth are straight, her bite was corrected and she now is able to speak more confidently and show her beautiful smile in pictures.

My hope is that we all see the value in maintaining optimal oral health and making it available to all. I applaud the government for taking the first step by offering the Canada Dental benefit to qualifying families and wish that in time, this benefit is extended to singles and seniors. We are all deserving of living a healthy life and oral health plays a very important role in achieving that goal