Dental decay is a chronic disease. Dentists have always known it. Now the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has confirmed it in their report: Australia’s Health 2014.
The AIHW findings call for greater effort on preventive measures to reduce the burden of this disease on both individuals and the Australian economy.
The AIHW report states that the recent trends suggest increased consumption of bottled water, sports and soft drinks plus changes to diet are having a negative impact on oral health, particularly in children.
“As dentists, we see first-hand the growing rate of dental decay and disease. With the increasing rate of dental decay in children, we are particularly concerned about the oral health of future generations”, stated Dr Karin Alexander, ADA President.
“As the report states, poor childhood oral health is a strong predictor of poor adult oral health and with more than half of all six-year-olds showing decay in their baby teeth, we need everyone to sit up and take action to halt these trends”.
Follow these eight tips from Smile Solutions to help keep decay at bay:
1. Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes
2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
3. Floss once a day
4. Visit your dentist every six months
5. Use products containing fluoride
6. Eat a balanced diet
7. Limit your intake of sweet and acidic food and drinks
8. Chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals
This article first appeared on the Australian Dental Association.