Dental Health Week is held each year during the first full week of August. This year it runs from 5th-11th. The annual campaign is organised by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) as the organisation’s major promotional event for oral health. As the peak body for dentists in Australia, ADA is focused on educating the Australian population about the importance of maintaining good oral health.
This year’s theme
Every year Dental Health Week has a different theme that revolves around oral health. Previous focus areas have included diet, sugar, sport, and women’s oral health. The tagline for this year is ‘How’s your oral health tracking?’ This year’s theme is a fantastic reminder for everyone to ask themselves how healthy their mouth really is and what they can do to get their smile on track. The four key messages being promoted during this year’s Dental Health Week include:
Adults and children need to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. A mere 50% of Australians brush their teeth morning and night. A quick brush once a day just doesn’t cut it. Everyone needs to brush for a minimum of two minutes, twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The most optimal technique is to brush along all surfaces in small, circular motions.
Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental brush. Flossing comes as an afterthought to many people when it is actually as important to incorporate into your daily routine as brushing. It is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath (halitosis), but shockingly almost 40% of the Australian population never floss or clean between their teeth. Just like brushing, flossing is not something that should be rushed. Use around 45cm, wrap around your middle fingers and thumb, then move in a gentle side-to-side motion.
· Say “Hi” to your dentist
Visit a dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative treatment. Regular dental check-ups are essential to maintaining good oral health. Check-ups are recommended every 6 to 12 months, so if you are one of the 65% of Australians who hasn’t seen a dentist in the past two years, there is no better time to make an appointment.
· Eat and drink well
Eat a nutritious diet and minimise consumption of sugary foods and drinks. A whopping 73% of young people (14-18 years) are consuming too much sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria which causes tooth decay, so limiting your intake is vital. It is also worth reading food and beverage labels as many products contain hidden sugars or list different names to disguise sugar, such as sucrose, dextrose, and high fructose corn syrup. Try to eat as many teeth-friendly foods such as vegetables and nuts, and drink plenty of fluoridated tap water.
Happy Dental Health Week from the team at Oak Tree Ballarat Dental. We are here to help you keep track of your mouth health and make your oral health a high priority. Contact us today on (03) 5342 9633 to book a check-up.