Enjoying a lifetime of good oral health affects much more than simply having healthy teeth and gums. In fact, many studies conducted over the past several years have shown that oral health is closely related to a person’s overall health. That means if you have gum disease or severe tooth decay, for example, it can negatively affect your overall health and can make any existing disease you might have even worse. Fortunately, enjoying good oral health isn’t that complicated. All it requires is a daily oral hygiene regimen at home and regular trips to your dentist. And thank goodness for dentists! These professional health care providers are the people who keep tabs on our oral health and resolve any issues that we may encounter throughout the course of our lives. Thanking our dentists was exactly why March 6th has been designated as National Dentist’s Day.
But National Dentist’s Day isn’t just about thanking your oral health care provider; it’s also a great time to remember and recognize the important role that good oral health plays in our day-to-day lives. This concept is nothing new. In fact, the practice of dentistry has been around for centuries, dating back as far as 5000 B.C. People have been brushing their teeth just as long, with some of the earliest toothbrushes consisting of twigs and small sticks crushed together to form an abrasive tool to remove food residue from teeth. A more modern type of bristle tooth brush was developed later, in the 17th century.
Even false teeth have been around much longer than you might think. People in ancient civilizations created dentures using ivory and/or animal bones crudely tied together to fill in the gap left behind by missing teeth inside the dental patient’s mouth. In fact, these early dentures were an absolute necessity in ancient times, when the only solution for a bad tooth was to pull it! Fortunately, both dentures and dental technology has come a long way since that time. Today, although some of today’s patients may need to be fitted with partial or full sets of dentures, most teeth can be saved thanks to the modern dental techniques performed by your dentist.
So mark your calendar for March 6th, and take the time to thank your dentist for everything he or she does to take care of your oral health. An even better way to celebrate National Dentist’s Day is to follow the instructions from your dentist: brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit your dentist at least twice a year for oral exams and professional cleanings.