This year during Dental Health Week (6 to 12 August), the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is reminding everyone to #WatchYourMouth, in the light of the latest national survey conducted by the association that showed Australians are not prioritising their oral health.
It follows the launch earlier this year by the ADA of Australia’s Oral Health Tracker which was developed in response to data showing that just over 52 percent of Australians are only brushing once a day instead of the recommended twice daily and nearly two in five (38 percent) never floss or clean in between their teeth. Australians also need more regular dental check-ups, with 69 percent only going to the dentist when they have a problem.
This is especially concerning given the fact that tooth decay is Australia’s most common disease, with one in five adults having untreated tooth decay and one in five also have gum disease, with oral cancer rates also on the rise.
To help combat these figures, Dental Health Week 2018 is stressing these four key tips for good oral health:
• Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
• Clean in between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes
• Eat a healthy diet, limit sugary foods and drinks
• Visit your dentist regularly
ADA President, Dr Hugo Sachs said Dental Health Week is an opportunity for people to take a look and learn more about why a healthy mouth is so important. “Good oral health is vital to good overall health, so watching your mouth will help maintain your general wellbeing. Watching your mouth means brushing and flossing, eating a healthy diet, lowering our sugar and alcohol intake, stopping smoking and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups. These good habits will greatly reduce the risk of oral disease.”
Ask your dentist about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule to access benefits for basic dental services (capped over two years).
The benefits include check-ups, X-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. Your child may be eligible if they are aged 2 to 17; they are eligible for Medicare, and you or your child are getting Family Tax Benefit Part A or certain other government payments.