While we’re preoccupied with hand hygiene – regular handwashing, using hand sanitiser, not touching your face – as COVID-19 dominates news headlines, it’s important not to overlook our oral health, too.
Today marks World Oral Health Day (20 March 2020) and new statistics out today reveal an increasing prevalence of both tooth decay and gum disease among Australian adults.
The alarming statistics have been reported in the Adult Oral Health Tracker report, released in time for World Oral Health Day 2020.
“The Oral Health Tracker 2020 is a progress report that provides an update on how Australian adults’ oral health is tracking compared to the previous results in 2018 and compared to the targets for 2025,” Australian Dental Association’s (ADA) Oral Health Advisor, Dr Mikaela Chinotti says.
“The results are in, and for gum disease and tooth decay, they’re not good. These conditions are largely preventable, yet they’ve increased in prevalence and we continue to get further away from our goal of improving Australia’s overall oral health.”
According to the report Australians are keeping their teeth for longer but rates of tooth decay and gum disease are on the rise.
The main culprits for this are poor oral hygiene and free sugar consumption.
“For many Australians, free sugar consumption is still well above the World Health Organisation’s recommended 6 teaspoons a day limit and this is affecting quality of life by causing tooth decay,” Dr Chinotti adds.
Pledge to improve oral health
For World Oral Health Day 2020, the ADA is asking people to #uniteformouthhealth by making a pledge to better care for their oral health.
Improving oral health could include:
- Visiting the dentist.
- Becoming sugar savvy by understanding ways to reduce free sugar consumption.
- Making a conscious effort to brush teeth using fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
For more information, visit: worldoralhealthday.org/