FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers are reminded during Oral Health Month that good oral health is directly linked to general overall health.

“Oral health is a significant factor in a person’s overall quality of life,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque. “During oral health month, I urge parents of young children and New Brunswick residents of all ages to make oral health and overall health habits a priority.”

Ensuring proper care of teeth and gums is important not only for an individual’s appearance but also for social wellbeing and mental health. During oral health month and all through the year residents are encouraged to:

  • Brush and floss daily.
  • Eat well.
  • Read food labels and check the sugar content.
  • Schedule regular visits with a dental professional.

Young people often consume a diet laden with sugar, well over the World Health Organization’s recommended daily limit of 25 g. Consuming too much sugar is linked to obesity, diabetes and many oral health issues including tooth decay. That is why it is important to encourage healthy eating and oral health habits starting at a young age.

Dental professionals encourage cultivating these habits with the eruption of baby’s first tooth.

“Early childhood tooth decay is the most common and widespread disease affecting infants and toddlers in Canada, causing a great deal of suffering and pain that is largely preventable,” said Dr. Bob Hatheway, president of the New Brunswick Dental Society. “Baby teeth are important because they help your child eat, speak and hold space for their adult teeth so it is important to develop proper oral health habits early.”

The society continues to partner with the Department of Health, and is providing 4,000 toddler-appropriate toothbrushes for the Healthy Toddler Assessment Program. This year, parents will receive a toothbrush along with education materials that encourage cultivating a habit of regular brushings from an early age.