Did you know that looking after your teeth is about more than just looking good ?
In fact, the health of your teeth and mouth have a large influence on your general health and wellbeing; yet many of us only think about our teeth when things go wrong.
It’s Dental Health Week, so a great time to reflect on those chompers and the need for their lifelong care. The key messages being promoted this week are:
- Brush twice each day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between your teeth with floss or an interdental toothbrush.
- Eat a healthy diet, reducing sugary drinks and foods.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
A recent study by the Australian Dental Association, showed that just over 52% of Australians brush only once each day instead of twice, and 38% never clean between their teeth with floss or a special interdental toothbrush. Perhaps not surprisingly, 69% only visit the dentist when they have a problem. These figures are a concern because here in Australia tooth decay is the most common disease, with 20% of adults having decay that has been left untreated; and one in five also having gum disease.
Good oral health begins in childhood with regular (proper) brushing, and developing healthy food habits. Encourage your kids to choose water as a drink, and if they do drink juice or sweetened fluids, try to make sure they have a few mouthfuls of water afterwards. Sugars that remain in our mouth (at any age), are taken up by bacteria which produce acid and can then attack the enamel layer of the tooth. So, the best way to prevent this damage is to (1) avoid sugar sweetened foods (2) rinse your mouth after eating or drinking (3) brush regularly. Brushing properly is a skill, particularly when we are all so time-poor…. but the Australian Dental Association has some great tips and advice on how to make it work for you.
Finally, make time to visit the dentist regularly.
The Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Oral Health Service provides public dental care across Penrith, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Lithgow LGAs, services are free but first you need to check who is eligible . All Children are eligible.