Although we often fail to realize it, the simple act of brushing our teeth plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. When was the last time you brushed your teeth? This morning? Last night? Five minutes ago?
Chances are, you have probably used a toothbrush at least once within the last 24 hours. This simple, daily act can prevent some serious health issues.
In many developing countries, access to a toothbrush, much less a dentist, is rare. Several poor communities throughout the United States also face this problem. Such a lack of access to dental care can lead to more serious conditions which are often preventable.
Our friends at Give Kids A Smile, a St. Louis nonprofit providing free dental care to children in the inner-city, say more than 40 percent of all Americans fail to see a dentist every year. The number jumps to 70 percent among the poor.
Dental caries, or tooth decay, remains the most prevalent chronic disease among children. Such poor oral health can lead to periodontal disease, even tooth loss. According to the World Health Organization, between 60 and 90 percent of school children and nearly 100 percent of adults around the world have cavities.
A lack of basic dental hygiene can lead to serious medical complications. For example, gum disease caused by significant plaque buildup has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and high blood sugar.
Not only is dental health linked to vital organs like the heart, it also can affect a person’s basic bodily functions. Left untreated, oral bacteria can cause intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues. Without access to a toothbrush, many impoverished children suffer unnecessarily from such conditions.
In addition to digestive issues, untreated oral bacteria can also aggravate the respiratory system. In fact, a study published by the Journal of Periodontology revealed a link between gum disease and increased risk of pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
As you can see, our oral health effects our bodies more than we realize. At Smile Squared, we believe all children deserve a toothbrush in order to keep their mouths healthy and prevent threatening conditions.
In order to help children around the world maintain healthy teeth and gums, Smile Squared donates a toothbrush to various nonprofit partners for each one purchased. Thanks to these partnerships, we have already distributed more than 125,000 toothbrushes throughout 24 countries and in each of the 50 states.
When children have diseased mouths, they often lack confidence and refuse to smile. Smile Squared believes that everyone deserves a healthy, confident smile!
The next time you buy a toothbrush, please consider Smile Squared. When it comes time to brush your teeth, you can grin even wider knowing your purchase has helped a child in need come a little closer to a happy smile and better health!
We really do smile better together.