Happy Dental Health Week!
Organised by the Australian Dental Association (ADA), Dental Health Week (DHW) brings awareness and educates Australians on the importance of maintaining good oral health and hygiene.
2020’s DHW focuses on the theme of sugar and its effects on our teeth. The important messages are reinforced in the tagline “How much sugar is hiding in your trolley?”
But before we get into that, let’s focus on what we like to promote all year round – preventative dentistry. We strongly believe that preventative dentistry is far better than restorative treatments as it saves our patients money, time, hassle, and their health.
Did you know?
53% of Australians brush their teeth only once-a-day
Brushing your teeth twice a day should be a habit instilled into you from a young age. You should thoroughly brush for a full two minutes, making sure that you also reach the back of your teeth and the biting surface (as well as the front of the teeth).
Use a gentle circular motion and aim the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months or if you are sick.
Nearly 40% never floss or clean between their teeth
Flossing your teeth is essential for removing plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. It plays a big role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. And here’s a tip – your dentist can tell if you don’t floss, even when you lie about it!
Less than 50% of Australian adults have had a check-up in the last 12 months
Cleaning your teeth twice a day is extremely important, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s recommended that you visit the dentist every 6 months for a regular check-up and clean. These check-ups are essential for preventative dentistry to ensure that you are taking care of your teeth properly
Professional teeth cleaning is necessary for removing a build-up of plaque and tartar that your everyday cleaning routines cannot remove. It also removes visible stains and bad breath and helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
73% of young people (14-18 years) and 47% of adults (18+ years) consume too much sugar
One thing that confuses most Australians is understanding sugar on their food labels. This infographic from the ADA gives us a rundown of how to read food labels and how much sugar we should look out for when buying groceries for the family.
What are the key messages?
- Limit your sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons a day
- Shop for foods with 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams
- A trick to remember: The closer to the top of the ingredients list, the more sugar is present
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste to protect your tooth enamel
- Always floss!