Dental Health Week 2020

Dental Health Week 2020 runs from the 3rd of August to the 9th of August, and this year’s theme is “How Much Sugar Is Hiding In Your Trolley?” The core aim of this annual event is to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health and promote the message that no matter how busy you are, it’s possible to find the time to take care of your teeth and gums. You can link up with Dental Health Week on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

According to the Australian Dental Association, the four key behaviours for maintaining good oral health are:

•    Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste

•    Flossing daily

•    Eating a healthy, balanced diet while limiting your sugar intake

•    Visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and preventive care

While drinking, smoking, taking drugs and other harmful factors can take a major toll on a person’s oral health, with a little education on good hygiene habits and a balanced diet, the pain and expense of tooth decay is almost completely preventable. Unfortunately, the Australian Dental Association found that many Australians aren’t practising adequate oral health. For instance…

•     Less than half of Australian adults have had a dental check-up in the last 12 months

•     53% of Australians only brush their teeth once a day

•     Nearly 40% of Australians never floss

•     73% of teenagers are consuming too much sugar

•     Nearly half of all adults are consuming too much sugar

As this year’s campaign focuses on the harm that sugar can inflict on our oral health, Dental Health Week 2020 will share recommended daily sugar consumption levels, reveal the damage that the sweet white stuff has on our teeth and provide advice on how to decode food labels. Just learning how companies craftily hide added sugar on their product labels will support us in making healthy, informed choices at the supermarket. Saying “no” to an unhealthy item one time at the store is a lot easier than continually saying “no” to it whenever you open the cupboard at home.

The World Health Organization encourages us to consume no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar daily, to choose foods with less than 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams, and to look out for hidden sugars when purchasing food and drinks. For more tailored advice, see your dentist. If you don’t have a regular dentist, your GP can link you up with one.

By Grant J Everett, Panorama magazine

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