Did you know the oral health of many Australians is not where it should be? According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA):
- 75% adults rarely/never floss or clean between their teeth.
- 1 in 5 adults brush only once a day.
- 39% of parents report their children drink 2–5 soft drinks per week.
- 2 in 3 adults usually visit the dentist for a problem rather than a regular check-up.
- 47% of adults (18+ years) consume too much sugar.
What is Dental Health Week?
Dental Health Week (DHW) is an annual campaign developed by the ADA, designed to promote oral health. This year’s campaign – Keep Your Smile For Life – they are reinforcing the importance of taking care of your teeth and gums, therefore maintaining good oral health, as well as keeping your smile for life!
How does my diet and nutrition impact my oral health?
Did you know tooth decay is a diet-related disease? It is actually attributed to sugar consumption. When we consume food and drinks that contain sugar, the bacteria on our teeth convert the sugar into acid, which draws out minerals from our teeth. If nothing is done to prevent this, over time, it can lead to the development of tooth decay.
So, what can we do?
- Drink lots of water, it’s sugar-free and contains fluoride in most of Australia! Even sugar-free soft drinks can damage your teeth, since they are acidic.
- Limit added sugar intake. Did you know a 600mL bottle of soft drink already contains 16 teaspoons of sugar on average? The average adult should be getting no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day!
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating. Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can lead to more saliva being produced, which can neutralise the teeth-decaying acid produced by bacteria in the mouth!
Healthy Dental Habits for Life
Learning healthy dental habits early helps set kids up for good health later in life. Here are some tips to help kids grow strong and healthy teeth from Healthy Eating Active Living NSW.
Nutrition Australia NSW is proudly supported by NSW Health.