Besides preventing oral problems, good dental health also helps reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Good oral hygiene involves cleaning your teeth after every meal and visiting your dentist on a regular basis. This not only helps to prevent tooth decay, but can also prevent gum disease; a condition that increases your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Unfortunately, many people do not visit their dentist regularly as Medicare does not cover dental treatment and some dental procedures can be very expensive. Some people receive free or subsidised dental treatment and many others take out private health insurance, but encouraging good oral health continues to be a difficult task in light of the high cost of going to the dentist.
Who is the principle backer of Dental Health Week?
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) is the peak national body for the dental profession and encompasses the majority of dentists in Australia. A voluntary member organisation, it has three main objectives:
- To support its members.
- To improve the oral health of the public.
- To promote the ethics, art and science of dentistry.
One of the ways the ADA encourages good oral health is through Dental Health Week.
What is Dental Health Week?
Running from the 7-12 August in 2017, Dental Health Week is the ADA’s major annual oral health promotion. It aims to educate Australians on the importance of good oral health and has three main aims:
- To promote oral health awareness in the community.
- To motivate dental professionals to promote oral health.
- To encourage collaboration within the dental profession.
Dental Health Week focuses on a different aspect of oral health every year and past themes have included women’s oral health, oral health and sport, oral health and sugar, and oral hygiene and diet.
How can dental professionals get involved?
- Encourage staff to wear pink for the day (the colour of oral health).
- Decorate your clinic with pink balloons and Dental Health Week banners and posters.
- Run a competition or offer giveaways like toothbrushes or toothpaste.
- Offer free dental check-ups.
What can members of the public do?
- Download, print and distribute the fact sheets and resources available on the Dental Health Week website.
- Use your social media contacts to spread the message about good oral health.
- If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, make an appointment for a check-up for yourself and your family.