Improving oral health practices and decreasing sugar intake is the key focus this Dental Health Week.
Mackay Hospital and Health Service Director of Oral Health Dr Ronel Bornman said the 2019 theme, ‘How’s your oral health tracking’, is more important than ever.
“The ADA states only 51% of adults brush their teeth twice a day and 47.8% consume too much sugar,” Dr Bornman said.
“Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing in between teeth combined with a low sugar diet is essential to avoiding tooth decay and maintaining healthy gums.
“Regular check-ups with a dentist do more than just check for tooth decay too; they also check for oral cancer and gum disease.”
The sugar in sweet drinks such as soft drinks and energy drinks, as well as snack foods with hidden sugars, is a major contributor to tooth decay and gum disease.
A healthy diet, limiting snacking between meals and drinking water is the best defence against oral health disease
Dental Health Week coincides with a directive by Queensland Health to eliminate sugary drinks in hospitals and health services.
Base Hospital dietitian Kieran McInnes said from 1 July, soft drinks, energy drinks, cordials and iced teas, as well as juices and flavoured milks in larger serving sizes, were being removed from sale and promotion at health facilities.
“The aim of this directive is to make healthier drinks more readily accessible to our staff, volunteers and visitors of our facilities by increasing the healthy options available,” Mr McInnes said.
“Good oral health is a key indicator of a healthy diet and everything you eat or drink has a direct impact on the health of your teeth and gums.”
Dental Health Week is the Australian Dental Association’s annual campaign running 5 to 11 August dedicated to educating all Australians on the importance of maintaining good oral health.
Adults who are eligible to receive free dental services from the public oral health services are required to be a holder of any of the following cards:
- Pensioner Concession Card issued by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
- Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink
- Health Care Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
- Queensland Seniors Card.
Children enrolled at school from Prep to Year 10 with a current Medicare card are eligible for free dental services.
Appointments for a public oral health service at Mackay HHS can be booked by phoning 07 4885 6444.
Amie Galletly | Communications Officer| 4885 6808