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We’re fortunate to have easy access to dental care in Singapore, but it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and establish a partnership with your dentist. Image: Pexels

World Oral Health Day: Ways To Improve And Maintain Oral Health

Every year on 20 Mar, individuals around the world come together to celebrate World Oral Health Day, which serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene habits.

It encourages people of all ages to prioritise their dental health and take proactive steps to prevent oral diseases. Through educational campaigns, community outreach initiatives, and collaborative efforts with healthcare professionals, World Oral Health Day strives to empower individuals to make informed choices about their oral care.

Moreover, the observance of World Oral Health Day promotes equity in oral healthcare access, emphasising the need for universal access to essential dental services. By advocating for equal opportunities for everyone to receive quality dental care, this global initiative aims to bridge the gap in oral health disparities and promote health equity worldwide.

Dr James Ho, founder of GPlus Dental Center and G Dental Center. | IMAGE: GPLUS DENTAL CENTER

In Singapore, we are fortunate to have early access to dental care as children, and easy access to care as adults, a point emphasised by Dr James Ho, founder of GPlus Dental Center and G Dental Center.

“Geographical and socioeconomic barriers to care in many countries are largely non-existent in Singapore. Our fluoridated water helps, and government institutions and mandatory bonds for dental students help ensure affordable care in a community setting,” says Dr Ho.

“In addition, most dental services are relatively affordable to most citizens due to our higher income level compared to other countries. All these factors contribute positively to the overall oral health of Singaporeans.”

To commemorate World Oral Health Day, Dr Ho shows us some ways to improve and maintain oral health:


Establish a consistent oral care routine

Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Incorporate flossing into your daily routine to clean between teeth and remove plaque from areas that your toothbrush may not reach.

Choose the right dental products

Select toothpaste with fluoride to strengthen enamel and choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging gums. Consider using an antiseptic or fluoride mouthwash as a supplementary oral care step.


Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated

Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit sugary snacks and beverages, as they may contribute to tooth decay. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water helps rinse away food particles, bacteria, and acids, contributing to better oral health.

Limit tobacco and alcohol use

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to gum disease and oral cancers. Minimising or quitting these habits can significantly improve oral health.

Regular dental check-ups

Schedule routine dental check-ups at least once a year or as advised by your dentist. Regular professional cleanings and examinations can catch issues early and prevent more significant problems.


Address dental issues promptly

If you experience dental pain, sensitivity, or notice any changes in your oral health, seek professional help promptly. Early intervention can prevent the progression of dental problems.

Educate yourself

Stay informed about proper oral hygiene practices, advancements in dental care, and potential risk factors. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions about your oral health. <Dentist>


Work hand-in-hand with your dentist

Improving oral health requires a joint effort between your at-home dental care and the guidance provided by your dentist. While regular dental visits every six months are recommended, some individuals may require more frequent appointments based on their unique needs. Therefore, the frequency of dental visits is not the sole determinant of oral health; rather, it is primarily influenced by the effectiveness of your daily oral hygiene routine.

“Seek out a dental practice with a team of dentists who are committed to supporting you every step of the way. This includes personalised instruction on proper flossing techniques tailored to your specific dental profile,” says Dr Ho.

“Remember, the quality of your flossing technique is just as crucial as its consistency. Dentists can also dedicate extra time to evaluate the effectiveness of your oral hygiene practices and offer guidance for improvement.”

Dr Ho also emphasises that by fostering a collaborative relationship with your dentist, you’ll feel empowered to take proactive measures in maintaining your oral health.

“This philosophy guides our practice, as we believe it is essential for preserving healthy teeth throughout life’s stages.”

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