Lifestyle

Avoiding tooth decay

River Dental dental hygienist Samantha Abbott says people need to brush twice a day and floss once every day.
River Dental dental hygienist Samantha Abbott says people need to brush twice a day and floss once every day. Renee Pilcher

TOOTH decay is Australia's most common health problem - five times more prevalent than asthma among children - with 11 million newly decayed teeth developing each year.

According to government reports, it's also the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia, which is all the more concerning given 90% of all dental diseases are preventable.

Gympie dental hygienist Samantha Abbott urged residents to rethink their attitudes to tooth decay.

Research commissioned by the Australian Dental Association reveals an alarming 57% of Australians expect at some stage in their lives they will develop tooth decay, a condition that can be unsightly, painful and irreversible.

ADA oral health committee chairman Peter Alldritt says no one should expect to get tooth decay or accept the condition is inevitable as it can be prevented with a healthy diet and proper dental care - the main messages of Dental Health Week this week.

Dr Alldritt says the easiest way to avoid tooth decay is to be aware of what you eat and drink.

"The number one cause of tooth decay is consumption of sugary foods and drinks on a regular basis," he said.

"The bacteria in your mouth convert sugars into acids. Over time, acids eat away at the surface of a tooth, attacking the enamel, weakening the tooth and causing decay in the form of holes or cavities.

"Preventing tooth decay can be as simple as controlling consumption of sugary or acidic food and drinks between meals, drinking soft drinks through a straw to minimise the acid exposure to your teeth and eating calcium-rich foods like cheese and yogurt to help neutralise acids and protect your teeth."

Another easy way to prevent tooth decay is to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits such as brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, yet more than 30% of Australians admit they are only brushing once daily, with most of us skipping the pre-bed brush, and many of us admit we avoid flossing altogether.

The study found almost 35% of parents report their children only brush once a day with more than 60% accepting that their children will get tooth decay at some point in their lifetime.

The overwhelming majority of Australians (83%) say decayed teeth and bad breath are the biggest turn offs on a first date, far more concerning than excessive body odour (5%) or poor dress sense (4%), the survey revealed.

Researchers have estimated that poor dental health contributes to 600,000 days lost from school and 1 million lost days of work each year.

The total direct costs and lost productivity due to poor dental health in Australia is $2 billion.

 

To prevent tooth decay

  • Avoid snacking on sugary or acidic foods and drinks between meals
  • Eat calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss once a day
  • Drink fluoridated tap water
  • Chew sugar-free gum
Gympie Times

Topics:  health



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Shock reaction all round, even from commission

Tony Perrett

Everyone is in shock following the boundary announcements

Cane farmer to be cut off from water supply

HIGH AND DRY: Walkers Point sugar cane farmer Norm Muller amongst his cane fields on Beaver Rock Rd.

"That's our income for this year," he said.

What I wish parents knew about cyber safety

Principal of Suncoast Christian College Greg Mattiske talks about internet safety.

Too many parents are blissfully unaware of the threats

Local Partners

Wonderland star hits the big time in America

HE MAY not be James Bond, but Bundaberg lad Michael Dorman has hit the big time in a lead on Amazon web series Patriot.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Gympie children needed for auditions

FUN TIMES: Cast members from the GTA pantomine from 2005, Little Red Riding Hood.

Come on kids! Get on board for this fun G150 event.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Sunshine Coast features in convict history novel

NEW NOVEL: White Spirit is based on a true story and features the Kabi tribe and touches on the Eliza Fraser story.

New book based on a true story has local roots.

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

15 houses for sale in Gympie under $200,000

9 Norman St Gympie: $179,000

First home-buyer or investor? Take a look at these bargains.

Red Hill Rd cafe property under the hammer Saturday

HOT PROPERTY: 14 Red Hill Rd, Gympie is going under the hammer.

Are you in the market for a place to run a coffee shop?

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!