Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 28, 2015 (SKNIS): Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis were reminded by Minister of State, Honourable Wendy Phipps, that a healthy mouth, equals a healthy body, equals a healthy nation, when she delivered her Dental Health Week Address for 2015.

Dental Health Week is currently being commemorated in St. Kitts and Nevis from October 24 to 30 under the theme: “Let’s Be Seen with Good Oral Hygiene.”

In her address, Minister Phipps noted that the ministries of health in both islands would use the occasion of Dental Health Week to encourage “citizens and residents alike to adopt and – in other cases – maintain good oral health and hygiene practices as an integral part of overall health maintenance.”

“Our nation’s greatest resource is its people, and the best way of honouring and preserving that resource is by being grateful to God for the bodies He has given us, and doing everything in our power to take care of our bodies – since we are only allotted one per customer,” Minister Phipps said while encouraging all residents to carry out health practices every day which will result in longer lives.”

The Minister also took the opportunity to commend the staff of the Dental Unit of the Ministry of Health, inclusive of the dentists and dental assistants at Charlestown and Gingerland Health Centres in Nevis, and at Newtown Health Centre and Pogson Medical Centre in St. Kitts.  She extended “best wishes to all dental health practitioners operating in the private sector.”

One major activity organized for the week is a dental seminar for residents of the New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre on Friday, October 30.  The Dental Health Unit has a continuous oral health programme designed to sensitize the public on the importance of having good dental health and hygiene habits.  As such, Minister Phipps noted that “brushing the teeth after each meal, flossing twice daily, rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwash, visiting the dentist every six (6) months for a check-up,” should be part of overall health maintenance.

“These positive oral health and hygiene practices are all intended to ensure that good oral health is achieved by all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Minister Phipps said.  “Such practices will also help to make it possible for us to keep our teeth for life.”

The Minister responsible for Health further noted that scientific evidence has revealed that 90 percent of illnesses show the first signs in the mouth inclusive of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke which are classified as Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), the leading cause of death in St. Kitts and Nevis and the rest of the CARICOM Member States.

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