Chil­dren have tools to fight tooth de­cay

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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.den­tal­health­

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.

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