Children have tools to fight tooth decay
BY THE age of six, half of all Australian children will have tooth decay which is an alarming statistic given that it is entirely preventable.
These are the words of advice of Dr Alice Harriott from Brian Poschelk Dental who visited students at St Catherine’s Catholic College to mark the start of Oral Health Week on Monday.
Oral Health Week’s “Give your mouth a fighting chance” campaign highlights the detrimental effects of lifestyle choices on teeth including lip and tongue piercings, alcohol and binge drinking, smoking, drug use and risks of oral cancer.
Dr Harriott said good oral health was a habit and should start early.
“The number one cause of tooth decay is frequent consumption of sugary, acidic foods and drinks,” she said.
“There are obvious culprits like soft drinks, sports drinks, lollies and chocolates.
“Some foods like muesli and fruit and nut bars may seem healthy, however if they are sugary or have a sticky texture they may increase your risk of tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.”
Dr Harriott advises to opt for snacks of fruit, vegetables, nuts and cheese.
She said children and adults could maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily.
“We continue to see patients with large amounts of active decay and gum disease and more alarmingly oral cancers of the lips and oral tissue,” Dr Harriott said.
“Visiting your dentist regularly for a professional clean and general check-up is essential to identify problems early.”
Students were also give oral heath care packs with tooth brushes and information to take the message home with them.
For more information, visit www.dentalhealthweek.com.au.
ALL SMILES: St Catherine's College students Taylor Porter, Acadia Simmonds, Macgregor Lariviere-Holmes, Mitchell Hinton, Cooper Sanders (back), Hayden Kinnear, Cooper Boswell and Charlize Spence (front) learned about the importance of teeth with Dr Alice Harriott from Brian Poschelk Dental on Monday.