A call has been made for more persons to manage their oral health by regular visits to dental professionals.
Making the call, Chief Dental Officer in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Irving McKenzie, said bad oral health practices can lead to dementia and other illnesses while doing what is right enhances the mental health and happiness of individuals.
“Our oral health is integrally related to our general health and well-being,” he said, at the recent media launch for National Oral Health Month (October), held at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.
Dr McKenzie argued that the mouth is used for all that is good, and care must be taken of it.
He outlined that the Ministry is partnering with the New Testament Church of God, Swallowfield Chapel and other faith-based and community organisations, to provide “significant” services and materials to community members, and to promote oral health.
President of the Jamaica Association of Public Dental Surgeons, Dr. Vanessa Kiffin, said it is important that everyone “take charge” of their oral health for “improved health outcomes and beautiful smiles”.
She said that throughout the month, intensified efforts are being made to educate and promote good oral health practices, focusing on school children and persons in deep rural communities.
For his part, President of the Jamaica Dental Association, Dr Ajani Blake, said his group is supporting the activities to “demonstrate how good oral health is an indicator for good overall health”.
He underscored that coming together is in the “spirit of service to reduce healthcare disparity throughout our nation, and to those among us who are in need”.
The month-long activities are being observed under the theme ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth and take care of your Oral Health, for your General Health and Happiness’.
For the first time, October 2 was declared ‘Oral Health Professionals Day’ in Jamaica, by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.
Special emphasis has been placed on Oral Health Month 2022 by the World Health Organization (WHO), due to its strong linkage with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and chronic illnesses, as most oral diseases and conditions share similar modifiable risk factors, with the leading ones being cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.