(NAPSI)—The most common disease in the world is right under your nose—here’s what you can do.
Right now nearly half the world’s population is suffering from oral diseases like cavities and gum disease. This global crisis has major health consequences, since oral health is connected to your overall well-being. Beyond mouth pain and tooth loss, oral diseases are linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, among other conditions. In addition to your physical health, oral health can impact mental health and emotional well-being. Research shows childhood cavities lead to worry, anxiety, sadness and embarrassment in both kids and their parents.
Fortunately, oral diseases such as cavities and gum disease are largely preventable. If you know your OQ™—your oral health quotient—you’ll learn the simple steps for taking care of your mouth, the signs and symptoms for oral diseases, and where to go to seek help, and in doing so, take care of the rest of you.
Just as you might know your IQ or EQ, Colgate-Palmolive wants you to know Your OQ™. You can go to KnowYourOQ.com and take a free, interactive assessment to determine your oral health quotient on a scale from 1 to 10. After just two to three minutes, you’ll understand how oral health is the gateway to your overall health and well-being and be on your way to a healthier future. Once you know your OQ score, you can share the quiz and your oral health knowledge with your friends and family to promote healthier communities.
At KnowYourOQ.com, you can also find tips for improving your oral health, gain a better understanding of oral diseases, learn preventive strategies, and discover opportunities to seek professional help.
A healthier future starts with a healthy mouth. Here are some quick tips to boost your oral health quotient and help prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath:
1. Brush your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride-based toothpaste to prevent cavities. Night-time brushing is especially essential for an impactful oral care routine.
2. Brush properly using circular motions, and at a 45 degree angle to the gum-line, to remove plaque (bacteria) on all tooth surfaces. You can use powered and connected technologies to help guide you for the most effective tooth brushing. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis (early gum disease) which can progress to more advanced forms of the disease such as periodontitis, if not addressed. Once plaque hardens to calculus, professional removal is necessary to scrape it off of the tooth surface.
3. Floss your teeth at least once daily to clean in between your teeth, use mouthwash as needed, and remember to brush your tongue, too.
4. See a dentist twice a year and whenever you have tooth troubles. Many oral diseases do not have obvious signs or symptoms so regular checks are essential to detect and prevent diseases from progressing.
Experts Step In
To address the global oral health crisis, Colgate-Palmolive, the worldwide leader in oral care with a brand, Colgate, in more homes than any other, launched Know Your OQ™—a comprehensive public health initiative and educational campaign—to teach people about the links between oral health and their physical health and mental wellbeing. The company understands that education is the first step for driving action and making an impact, and is empowering people to understand why it’s so important to take care of your mouth.
“Research has consistently shown that oral health is a window to overall health, yet oral health literacy is very low,” said Maria Ryan, DDS, PhD, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Colgate-Palmolive. “That’s why we’re on a mission to help people increase their oral health knowledge. If we all understand the importance of oral health and embrace simple, proven preventative strategies, we can help decrease risk for oral diseases and empower people worldwide to join in the fight against oral diseases that impact overall health and well being.”
Oral health is often overlooked, even though an estimated 3.5 billion people currently suffer from oral diseases—and these diseases don’t just cause a pain in your mouth. Studies have found that oral diseases are linked to diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as other health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory diseases, and adverse outcomes. What’s more, childhood cavities cause children to miss up to three days of school per year, requiring their parents to lose the same amount of time at work.
To test your OQ, go to www.KnowYourOQ.com. The website also provides helpful information for consumers to improve their oral health and educational resources for healthcare professionals.