JIS News

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  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is encouraging parents to instill good oral health practices in their children from the earliest age possible.
  • Minister Hanna, who was speaking at the launch of Oral Health Month at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus today (October 2), noted the importance of good oral hygiene in maintaining a healthy smile, and improving appearance and self-worth
  • Ms. Hanna said that good oral health is also important to overall health. Research has shown that cavities and gum disease may point to serious conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. She noted that treating these conditions attract high expenses in the health sector.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is encouraging parents to instill good oral health practices in their children from the earliest age possible.

She contended that if proper oral care is encouraged at an early stage, it is likely that this will be practised throughout a person’s adult life.

Minister Hanna, who was speaking at the launch of Oral Health Month at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus today (October 2), noted the importance of good oral hygiene in maintaining a healthy smile, and improving appearance and self-worth.

She said that many young people sometimes lose their confidence because of their smile or the appearance of their teeth. “Many of them go through a very awkward stage of their development because of (the appearance of their mouths),” she noted.

Ms. Hanna said that good oral health is also important to overall health. Research has shown that cavities and gum disease may point to serious conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. She noted that treating these conditions attract high expenses in the health sector.

The Minister commended the dental students at the function for embarking on such an important profession.

“We need more dental hygienists, more dental nurses, especially in our rural areas. Regardless of what is happening in our lives, a smile on our faces and a laugh can do wonders, and so you are so important because you help to make our smiles and our laughs that much more effective in the world,” she stated.

 

Orthodontist and President, Jamaica Dental Association, Dr. Jeffrey Meeks, said that educating the youth about proper oral health will reduce the number of severe dental issues overtime.

“The mouth represents a very important place, not only because it is the first point of entry of nutrition into our body, but because it is the first contact with anyone. The first thing you see on someone is their smile and if they have no teeth or if they have decayed teeth, it leaves you with a negative impression of the person right away, so it’s important for your overall health to have a healthy mouth,” he contended.

Oral Health Month (October) is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of good oral hygiene.

A slew of activities are being stated by the Jamaica Dental Association to observe the month and these include church services island-wide on Sunday (Oct. 5); oral health fairs at the Girls’ Guides Headquarters in Kingston on October 15 and at the Mount Olivet United Church in Manchester on October 20; and a dental clinic in Portmore,

St. Catherine on October 28.

The highlight of the month is an oral health symposium on October 30 at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

The theme for Oral Health Month is ‘Know Your Mouth and Celebrate Your Smile’.