National Oral Health Month 2023
National Oral Health Month, is supported by the Canadian Dental Health Association and is held each April.
By promoting better oral health, this month long event encourages Canadians to have a better quality of life.
Why This Event?
Compared to other parts of the body, people often ignore problems with their mouths. Bleeding and tender gums, oral pain, and mouth infections, are common problems which are often ignored but can affect a persons quality of life.
Oral problems can affect the way a person eats, speaks and even socializes. Quite often people who consider their teeth to be 'poor' will not consciously smile with their mouth open. In some cases people with oral health problems avoid social interactions.
Oral Problems May Be A Sign Of Serious Disease
If there are problems with your mouth, it is important that medical assistance is soon sought as problems could be a sign of serious disease such as oral cancer. In Canada, over 1000 people die from oral cancer each year. Often, the cancer is diagnosed when it is at a late stage and treatments are not effective. By visiting a dentist on a regular basis, any problems can be diagnosed earlier when there is better treatment outcome.
The Canadian Dental Health Association have published '5 Steps To Oral Health'.
The Logo Used To Promote Oral Health
- Visit Your Dentist On A Regular Basis - your dentist will advise on how frequently you should see them. Depending on individual circumstances, regular checkups may be every 3,6 or 9 months.
- Keep Your Mouth Clean - brush your teeth at least twice a day and use floss. Floss helps to remove food and plaque which gets lodged or forms between the teeth and gums. Flossing helps to reduce bad breath and gum disease. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque from forming, reduces infection and eliminates bad breath.
- Eat, Drink But Be Wary - healthy, unprocessed nutrient rich foods help the body fight any infection. Reduce sugar intake. Sugar is a major cause of dental problems. It's advised to brush your teeth after consuming sugary drinks and food.
- Check Your Mouth Regularly - gum disease (periodontal disease) is the most common cause of tooth loss. Warning signs include bad breath, sensitive gums which are red, sore, shiny or swollen, and gums which bleed after brushing or flossing.
Check also for the warning signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer normally occurs on the sides of the mouth, on the floor of the mouth and on the lower side of the tongue.
Oral Cancer Warning Signs Include:
- small lumps or thickened areas in the mouth
- red or white patches in the mouth
- a feeling of tingling or numbness in the mouth
- bleeding in the mouth with no obvious cause
- sores in the mouth which do not heal
- Avoid All Tobacco Products - using tobacco (chewing or smoking) can cause minor and major oral health problems. Minor problems include bad breath and teeth staining. Major problems include heart disease, oral cancer and other cancers.
As part of National Oral Health Month, and also to promote oral health year round, the Canadian Health Association distribute posters which highlight these 5 points.
Promotional materials & resources for this event include:
- Fact Sheets & Posters
- Adult Educational Tools
- Children's Activities
- Prepared Questions And Answers About Oral Health
- Newspaper Articles For Media Campaigns
For more information visit the Canadian Dental Associations dedicated National Oral Health Month website.