THE Malaysian Dental Association and Listerine celebrated World Oral Health Day in a nationwide effort to remind Malaysians on the importance of good oral care.
Supported by the Health Ministry’s Oral Health Division, the campaign included a roadshow, educational initiatives and engagement talks by dentists to help spread awareness of good oral hygiene and complete oral care regimes.
“It is common for people to only see a dentist when they have pain or some other dental problem. Therefore, World Oral Health Day is a good time to remind Malaysians that good oral care should be a major priority for everyone regardless of age or gender,” said World Oral Health Day 2015 organising chairman Dr Chow Kai Foo.
Malaysian Dental Association president Dr Teh Tat Beng said, “Good oral care goes beyond a nice smile and fresh breath, as research shows a link between oral health and general health.
“Oral health can be compromised by a number of diseases which show symptoms in the mouth. Untreated gum disease has also been associated with higher risk of pre-term and low-birthweight babies,” he said, adding that this knowledge was lacking among Malaysians.
An survey carried out in conjunction with World Oral Health Day and involving some 380 Malaysians showed only 31% were aware that diabetes had a bi-directional relationship with oral health and only 34.6% knew that untreated gum diseases could have an effect on pregnant women and unborn babies.
In fact, 78.1% were not aware or unsure that brushing teeth alone is insufficient for good oral health as it only cleans 25% of the mouth.