Dental Health Week, which takes place in the first full week of August, is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion event.
Dental Health Week has three ongoing objectives:
- Promote oral health education and awareness in the general community
- Motivate and educate dental professionals to promote oral health
- Encourage ongoing collaboration within the dental profession
And each year it has specific goals. In 2018 those goals are to get Australians to:
- Brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Clean in-between teeth once a day (with floss or interdental brushes)
- Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit sugar intake
- Regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and preventive treatment.
Brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
How you brush your teeth is quite important. For maximum benefit, you should brush for at least two minutes, morning and evening, using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a flexible neck.
Clean your teeth systematically, beginning at the back of your mouth with the toothbrush bristle at the gum line on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a circular motion. If you scrub too hard from side to side, tooth enamel can be damaged and gums can recede. Be careful to brush along the inner, outer and chewing surfaces, making sure you tip the toothbrush so you can reach the inner front areas of the teeth.
If dexterity or coordination is an issue, consider a powered toothbrush. They can be programmed to run for two minutes, and even alert you every 30 seconds to move to another quadrant of the mouth.
Other tips include brushing your tongue, not rinsing out toothpaste after spitting, and using an age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste (Never use fluoride toothpaste with a child under 18 months of age).
Clean in-between teeth once a day (with floss or interdental brushes)
If you’re relying only on brushing to keep your teeth clean, you’re missing nearly half the surface area of your teeth, which lies between them. To reach these areas you need floss or interdental tools.
By using floss or interdental tools you’re fighting gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
Here’s how to floss according to the ADA:
- Take about 45 cm of dental floss and wrap most of it around your left middle finger.
- Wind the remaining floss around your right middle finger.
- Grip the floss between your thumbs and index fingers then gently slide it between two teeth, using a saw-like motion. Gently slide the floss up and down against the teeth and down each side of the pink triangle of gum between the teeth.
- Gently remove the floss from the teeth. Wind a little bit of the floss from your left finger to your right finger to move along the dirty part and to give you a fresh area of floss to clean the next two teeth. Repeat
Your dentist may also recommend using the following interdental tools:
- Floss threaders
- Floss pic
- Interdental cleaners
- Interdental tips.
Always speak to your dentist before using any type of interdental aid because if used incorrectly they can damage your gums.
Learn more about dental tools here
Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit sugar intake
Everything you eat and drink affects the health of your teeth and gums, particularly with respect to tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused when sugars in the food and drinks you eat are consumed by bacteria; these produce the acids that can attack the outer layer of tooth enamel.
To ensure that your diet doesn’t negatively affect your teeth, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Drink lots of water – it’s the best beverage choice.
- Limit snacking between meals – food eaten during snacking is worse for the teeth than food eaten during meals.
- Watch what you eat – cut back on sugar, eat healthy foods.
- Gum – chewing sugar-free gum helps neutralise decay-causing acid attacks.
Regularly visit Forster Dental Centre for check-ups and preventive treatment
The ADA’s advice is simple:
- Make sure you visit your dentist regularly, at least once a year!
- Regular dental check-ups are essential to maintaining good oral health
- Dentists can check for problems that you might not see or feel, like early signs of tooth decay and gum disease.
So give us a call at Forster Dental Centre, we’re waiting to help you maximise your dental health!
Your local dentist – Forster Dental Centre
At Forster Dental Centre, we provide each patient with the care that allows them to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for life! We provide an extensive range of dental services from preventative dentistry to restorative dental options along with the latest in cosmetic dentistry solutions for straighter and whiter teeth.
We pride ourselves on listening to the needs and concerns of all our patients and aim to provide you with the personalised attention you and your family deserves.