Dental Health Week 2-8 August 2021
Keep Your Smile for Life
Good oral health is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life.
Poor oral health can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases, compromising diet and nutrition intake, impairing speech, and eroding self-esteem. Many chronic diseases, mental illnesses and social withdrawal have been associated to poor oral health.
The DHAA calls on the Australian public to pay attention to their oral health through all stages of life:
Pregnant women are advised to visit an oral health practitioner prior to or early in the pregnancy as hormonal changes in the body can increase the risk of gum disease. Gastric reflux and morning sickness can cause damage to tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay. Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, paying attention to clean between teeth as well. Bring your child in to see your oral health practitioner within 6 months of their first tooth appearing and no later than by their first birthday.
Children require adult assistance with their tooth brushing until they can do it independently and effectively (usually about 8 years old). A small pea-sized amount of low fluoride children’s toothpaste from 18 months old till 6 years old is sufficient. From 6 years old the use of standard fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Your oral health practitioner may apply professional topical fluoride and fissure sealants for added protection from tooth decay. A diet low in sugar will help dramatically reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Adults are recommended to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and to clean between their teeth daily. Healthy teeth and gums are important for your quality of life. Poor oral health may contribute to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease and aspirational pneumonia. Visit your oral health practitioner regularly to maintain your oral health and to stay on track.
Older people continue their oral health routine, and visit an oral health practitioner regularly for support and guidance. Taking multiple medications often causes a dry mouth and increases your risk of tooth decay. Your oral health practitioner may suggest the use of a high fluoride toothpaste. Poor oral health links with many chronic medical conditions experienced by older people and oral cancers are mostly diagnosed in older age groups.
To improve access to oral health care, the DHAA calls on the government and the private health insurance sector to include Dental Hygienists, Oral Health Therapists and Dental Therapists as dental service providers within their benefit schemes. This will ensure that all Australians have easier access and better options to preventive oral care. This is urgently needed to improve the oral health of Australians.
Keep your smile for life!
DHAA - Bill Suen CEO
E: [email protected]
P: 0412 831 669