February 9 is celebrated as World Toothache Day 2017. You may be a little confused and wondering why we should celebrate toothache day. You may feel toothaches are unwelcome and to be avoided. You may wonder how you should celebrate a toothache. What should you do to mark a day that’s dedicated to the painful toothache? It is of course a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of dental health, good dental hygiene and the steps you should take to avoid toothache.
Origins of World Toothache Day
Although there isn’t lots of information available about the origin of World Toothache Day and why it is celebrated on 9th February there are two strong theories. February 9th is the Feast Day of Saint Apollonia. This early Christian saint died in 249 AD at the hands of Christian persecutors who captured and tortured her including knocking all her teeth out. This resulted in her being named the Patron Saint of Toothache and Dental Disease. It makes sense that her saint’s day should also be marked as World Toothache Day
Another possible theory is that 9th February 1894 is the exact day that the Hershey Corporation was founded. The links between eating candy or chocolate and dental problems are very well understood. It is possible that the 9th February was chosen to highlight the links between consuming sugary treats over a sustained period and experiencing toothache.
What is toothache?
Odontalgia or toothache is pain which emanates from either multiple teeth or one single tooth. Anyone who has experienced toothache knows how debilitating the pain can be. Tooth decay is usually the chief cause for toothache and it is something which will not simply get better of its own accord. Untreated toothache will simply get worse and therefore patients with toothache should see a dentist as soon as possible in order to seek diagnosis and immediate treatment. World Toothache Day is a good opportunity to create awareness of the need to treat toothache promptly when it occurs.
The best way to deal with toothache is avoid it altogether by dealing with the root cause and preventing tooth decay. On Toothache Day 2017, dentists and health promotion authorities take the opportunity to highlight the important steps we can all take to make sure our days are toothache free days.
Regular and routine dental care is the crucial first step in avoiding tooth decay. Teeth should be brushed a minimum of twice a day in the morning and evening. It is also advisable to brush teeth after meals and snacks and that you avoid eating after your teeth are cleaned. Flossing is an often neglected aspect of dental hygiene which also helps protect against build-up of plaque bacteria between the teeth.
It’s important to change your toothbrush regularly and use a good quality fluoride based toothpaste. Limiting sugary food and acidic drink consumption will also protect teeth from decay and enamel erosion. However it is important to wait an hour after consuming anything acidic before cleaning your teeth. This is because it takes some time for your saliva to harden and remineralise the enamel of your teeth.
See your dentist
World Toothache Day 2017 is also a good reminder to book that dental check-up that you have been putting off. It is important to attend for regular check-up and professional cleaning at your dentist to ensure dental health and avoid toothache. If you experience toothache it’s vital to see the dentist within 2-3 days as without prompt treatment the pulp inside the tooth will develop an infection which can result in a dental abscess which is more difficult to treat and causes severe throbbing pain.
Toothache Day 2017 is just around the corner so this year on the 9th February you are invited to increase your own awareness about dental health and avoiding toothache. You can also inform others in your home, school or community about the dangers and simple ways to prevent toothache.