The first full week (6-12) of August is Dental Health Week! Dental Health Week, is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion event, and My Local Dentists West Ryde stands beside the ADA every step of the week, and throughout the year.
The week has three main 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 messages. For 2018 those are:
- 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.
And while those messages may seem a bit simple, they are also the foundation of good oral hygiene.
Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
Most of us don’t give much thought to our teeth – we brush them when we remember, and if they are lucky we floss them. But the mouth is the entry to the body, and how we take care of it has a major effect on how we feel and look. Brushing is the first step towards keeping our oral health, overall health, and appearance at their highest levels.
Here are the simple steps that the ADA recommends for brushing with fluoride toothpaste:
- Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day.
- Use a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and flexible neck.
- Clean your teeth systematically, holding the toothbrush at the gumline at a 45 degree angle.
- Don’t apply too much pressure – it can damage gums and tooth enamel.
- Choose toothpaste with fluoride and replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
Some patients question the need for fluoride toothpaste, but most dentists recommend it. Fluoride is particularly recommended if you’re at high risk of developing tooth decay.
You may be deemed a person of ‘high decay risk’ if:
- You’re undergoing orthodontic treatment (braces)
- Your diet is high in sugar or acid
- You have difficulty brushing your teeth due to arthritis or a disability
- You suffer from ‘Dry Mouth’
- You’re living in an area without fluoridated water
However, don’t use fluoride with children under 18 months of age, be careful up until age six, and monitor a child’s brushing until they are capable of spitting toothpaste out without swallowing any.
Clean in-between teeth once a day (with floss or interdental brushes)
Flossing also comes with ADA recommendations:
- Make flossing part of your oral hygiene regimen.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Ask your dentist to demonstrate the flossing technique.
- Ask your dentist if interdental aids can help you.
- Your children should floss too, start as soon as your child has two teeth that touch.
When flossing, it is important to use proper technique:
- Wrap about 45 cm of floss around your middle fingers and grip it tightly between your thumbs and index fingers.
- Gently guide the floss between the teeth, taking care not to damage your gums with abrupt movement. Use a side-to-side motion to ensure the sides of both teeth are cleaned.
- To clean the tooth where it meets the gums, curl the floss and insert gently under the gum.
Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit sugar intake
Diet is a key part of oral and general health. The ADA recommends that you eat well and consume less sugary drinks and food:
- Limit sugar intake – it is the most common cause of decay.
- Fluoridated tap water is best.
- Read the ingredients panel on food products as many have hidden sugars.
- Choose teeth friendly foods such as cheese, nuts and vegetables.
- Avoid snacking and grazing.
Regularly visit your My Local Dentists West Ryde for check-ups and preventive treatment.
Make sure you visit your West Ryde dentist regularly, usually twice annually, as regular dental check-ups are a critical component of maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can discover dental and health problems early, while they still have a good chance of successful treatment!
To support Dental Health Week in our community, My Local Dentists West Ryde offers the following promotions, during the week and beyond:
GAP FREE General Check-up, Scale and Clean, X-rays and Fluoride treatment (with any health insurance) *for new patients only
Marketplace Employees Discount. 10% discount for employees in the Marketplace
Senior Discount. 10% discount
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule up to $1000 worth of dental treatments over two years under CDBS.
My Local Dentists West Ryde Advantage
At My Local Dentists West Ryde, our treatments and service are 100% personalised to you and your needs. Our dentists are highly motivated and accredited practitioners with graduate degrees from the University of Sydney.
Alongside our dentists, the supporting staff at My Local Dentists West Ryde are tremendously dedicated and experienced to ensure that each visit with us is as pleasant as possible.
Call (02) 9809 7000 or visit us at Shop 20 West Ryde Marketplace 14 Anthony Road in West Ryde.