Dental Health Month

We commemorate the meaningful by designating days, weeks or months of the calendar to their honour. April is Dental Health Month in Ontario.

Underlying the concept of Dental Health is the fact that one remains healthy in general. The mouth is attached to and affects the rest of the body. Complete health can’t forget the oral cavity.

This however is not going to be a missive about brushing and flossing. Rather I would like to address, remaining truly healthy. Health, as defined by the World Health Organization in 1948, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. They got it right 67 years ago.

So how is this attainable? Mom was right that you should eat your veggies. That is, your diet should be well balanced and specific to your physical needs.

You should also move. Being a couch potato is detrimental, but movement does not require the gym or lifting many times you body weight. Walk, run, garden, do physical chores, stairs rather than elevators… you know, you’ve heard it often enough. Just do it to borrow an advertising motto.

Keep your brain active – crosswords, learn something new; argue with the TV, don’t just watch it passively; master the computer or your tablet!

Nurture your spirit- be awed by nature, volunteer at your place of worship, contemplate on the meaning of life.

John Donne said no man is an island. So one must have a social network – a real world not virtual reality; go out and have a coffee with a group of people that you can interact with and share each other’s burdens.

So what motivates me to use Dental Health month to think of whole health? I had the opportunity to attend the Annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis last month, where a friend, Dr Dabney Ewen, gave a plenary talk. What is important to note is that Dabney is 90 years old, still practicing and teaching. He is remarkably hale and hearty. His intellect is as sharp as ever.  He is a role model to emulate.

He made a comment that struck home. To wit, never complete your bucket list!

In that pithy statement is a world of ideas relating to regaining, and maintaining health in all its domains of body, mind and spirit. Perhaps this April, you will spend a moment to consider your situation and your bucket list. Remember –

Oral Wellness, Whole Health!

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