This week is Dental Health Week, the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion event. Its aim is to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health by promoting these key messages:
• Brush twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
• Clean in between teeth at least once a day with floss or an interdental brush.
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit sugar intake.
• Regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and preventive treatment.
This year, these important messages will be reinforced via the tagline ‘How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?’, which draws off the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Tracker report cards, a world-first initiative that documents and tracks Australia’s oral health status.
Tempting though it is to think everyone is practicing good oral health, the reality is that the oral health of many Australians is not where it should be.
• 65% of Australians haven’t seen a dentist in the last two years.
• 50% of Australians brush their teeth only once-a-day.
• Nearly 40% never floss or clean between their teeth.
• 73% of young people (14-18 years) are consuming too much sugar.
All of which means that getting the message out there about good oral health is more important than ever. Since the best oral care education occurs face to face, from dental professional to patient, the ADA encourages you to use the Dental Health Week website, the associated resources, and even the ADA’s Oral Health Tracker to help start conversations about keeping track of mouth health and making oral health a high priority.