The theme for Dental Health Week is “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?” But before we have a look into all the aspects that you can influence to assess and improve your own oral health, we thought we might shed some light on Australia’s oral health as a whole community. Looking at the broad picture first can not only help us see just why oral health is such an important issue for all of us, but also to help you to assess how you stack up against the rest of the community in terms of your oral health habits.
Australia’s Oral Health Tracker
Last year the Australian Dental Association (ADA), in collaboration with the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC), launched a series if world first national report cards, Australia’s Oral Health Tracker. The report cards have been developed to assess the oral health of Australian adults, young people and children. Some of the key statistics that the oral health tracker found was;
- Nearly 75% of Australian kids, and nearly 50% of adults, are consuming too much sugar.
- A third of 5-10 year olds have untreated tooth decay, and nearly 90% of adults have suffered from tooth decay.
- Almost half of Australian children have not visited a dentist before their fifth birthday.
- Oral health conditions are responsible for 1 in 10 potentially preventable hospitalisations, with the highest rate in children 5-9 years old.
- Approximately 1 in 5 Australian adults have gum disease.
- Almost half of adults have not had a check-up in the last 12 months.
So, what about my oral health?
These are some sobering statistics, however there is a lot that we can do to improve, and most of it starts at home with these simple steps:
- Brush twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Use floss or an interdental brush to clean in between teeth at least once a day
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit sugar intake
- Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative treatment.
Tomorrow we will have a look at tooth brushing and how to do it effectively! If you need to contact us with an questions, or to book an appointment to discuss your own oral health, we are here to answer all of your questions.
If you would like more information about the Australian Oral Health Tracker, visit the link here.