About Dental Health Week
From the 5th to 11th of August, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) will run its annual event called Dental Health Week. The aim here is educating and spreading awareness to the Australian public on good oral health, why it’s important and how to maintain it on a consistent basis. Your own oral health has a small part in your overall health and well being, so that is all the more reason for us to be passionate about our dental services.
This year, ADA has come up with the tagline “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?” It’s pretty self-explanatory, right? Well, what’s really impressive is how they’re upping the ante in educating people this time. Now everybody, including you, can refer to this Oral Health Tracker document to understand the target goals related to Australians’ oral health improvement for the coming years.
This Oral Health Tracker was made by ADA in conjunction with the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) as well as other leading oral health experts in Australia. It’s especially useful for showing the correlation between poor oral health and certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, other conditions plus their risk factors.
Evaluate Your Oral Health Practices
So in line with this year’s Dental Health Week, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself the following questions (be honest – you owe that to yourself):
1. “How often do I brush my teeth?”
If your answer here is once a day, here’s the reality. You’re not alone on this by a longshot. It’s been reported that 50% of Australians only brush one time every day on average.
Still, it’s worth noting that most people brush right before going to bed, which is also the most important time to do so as that’s when your mouth is most vulnerable to bacteria growth. But on the other hand, why risk the burden of cavities when you only need around two minutes after lunch to brush your teeth?
The golden rule is brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Also, it matters to brush with circular strokes and without applying too much pressure. Brushing more aggressively or intensely can strip off the actual structure of your tooth and part of your gums. Then toothaches can occur as a result.
2. “Do I make time to floss every day?”
Sure. It may be an annoyance for you to floss. That appears to be the case for a good number of Australians, as almost 40% have revealed that they never floss or clean in between their teeth.
But making an effort to floss is just like taking vitamin C or getting a flu shot at the start of winter. Prevention is better than cure. The slight inconvenience you experience is surely worth being able to avoid worse situations down the road. Especially something known as gum disease.
If you want to minimise your chances of getting gingivitis or periodontitis, rely on flossing daily to keep plaque from building up on your teeth. Use either normal dental floss or try an interdental brush instead.
3. “When have I last seen my dentist?”
Perhaps the most surprising statistic is this: 65% of Australians have NOT made an appointment with a dentist in the past two years. Are you one of them? If yes, or if the last time you saw your dentist was over six months ago, please see them as soon as possible.
Your dentist is the only person qualified to look closely at your mouth and teeth and determine the current state of your oral health. Your dentist will know whether part of your teeth needs urgent attention, or whether you’ve been doing what you’re supposed to be doing, or brushing and flossing the way you’re supposed to.
Life without great oral health can be pretty tough. So place full trust in your dentist and schedule a dental check-up at least two times a year.