Why Oral Hygiene?

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Project32 Student Volunteers Ethan Rosenfeld and Peter Ye. For more from our Student Volunteers, click the Subscribe button below!

Most bikers wear helmets to protect their head in case they fall. Many soccer players wear shin guards to protect their shins from getting kicked. However, if you consistently brush your teeth and practice good oral hygiene habits to protect your long-term oral health, you are a part of the minority. In 2013, the American Dental Association discovered over half the men in America do not brush their teeth twice a day and only half of Americans floss everyday. Why should taking care of your oral health be any different from taking care of your brain or your shin? In fact, most experts in oral hygiene (dentists) say your oral health may be more important than your shin. If you break your shin, although it is painful, the worst that could happen is a broken tibia; which will eventually heal. However, all humans are only born with one set of permanent teeth. Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause for tooth loss and tooth loss is the 11th most prevalent disease in the world. Oral diseases have been shown to cause lifetime pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and even death. After all, our mouth is more than just what we eat with, they allow us express ourselves.

Although the U.S. is one of the most developed nations, we still suffer from poor dental health. Cavities and tooth decay are among the most common chronic conditions among American children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in five children aged 5-11, and about one in seven teenagers have at least one decayed tooth. If untreated, they can cause infections and pain that can lead to issues with speaking, eating, and learning. Kids aren’t able to live full childhoods due to their poor oral hygiene. The oral hygiene habits learned in childhood carry over into adulthood, which can lead children who aren’t taught proper oral hygiene habits to live less fulfilling lives. Project32 aims to help instill good oral hygiene habits in kids which will carry on into their adulthood.

While oral hygiene is a big issue in America, the crisis is much greater in many other nations. For example, India faces a nationwide problem: only 50% of Indians brush, causing 95% of all Indians to have a gum disease. Many Indians were never taught proper oral hygiene habits at a young age, and are unable to regularly visit the dentist due to the expense. Project32 has visited many countries such as Guatemala and India and taught kids there how to properly take care of their mouths and supplied them with proper materials. We aim to help those in developing countries so they can teach the rest of their families good oral hygiene strategies like regularly brushing and flossing their teeth.

Over half of the world’s population suffer from tooth decay and other much worse oral diseases. Nearly all of these problems could have been avoided with simple yet effective oral hygiene habits. Project32 aims to help people of all ages and from all places of the world by teaching them proper oral hygiene habits and supplying them with tools to do so.

So, why does Project 32 focus on oral hygiene? Dentists all around the world agree that the best way to prevent oral disease is by having good oral hygiene habits. Project32 strives to help kids and adults develop simple oral hygiene habits that can help create them live their life to their fullest.

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