Looking ahead to Dental Health Week 2021

 29 June 2021  ADA

We want Australians to "keep their smile for life" so this year’s Dental Health Week (DHW) campaign, taking place next month (2-8 August), is focusing on the importance of preventive oral healthcare to help Australians of all ages to care for their teeth and gums and to combat the idea that they will need to have teeth removed during their life because of tooth decay or gum disease.

The four key messages of the 2021 DHW campaign aim to reinforce the importance of maintaining good oral health throughout a person’s life:

• Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste;

• Clean between your teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes;

• Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar; and

• Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventive care.

BRUSHING:  It's all in the technique
Following a routine is a great way to remain consistent when brushing to ensure all surfaces are cleaned. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1.Consider starting at the back of your mouth with the toothbrush bristles placed at the gum line where the teeth meet the gums.
2. Hold the brush on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a back-forth motion. If you apply too much pressure when brushing, this can cause your gums to recede, as well as damaging the white tooth enamel.
3. You should take care to gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, making sure you reach the inside surfaces of the front teeth, which are often missed.
4. Once you’ve finished brushing, spit out the excess toothpaste but do not rinse out your mouth with water. By not rinsing, this leaves a thin layer of toothpaste on the surface of your teeth helping to protect them for longer. 
Look to do this twice per day, in the morning and again at night before bed. It’s a simple routine that’s easy to perform and should only take two minutes.

And don’t forget your tongue. While it may seem strange at first to brush your tongue, a lot of bacteria live on its surface. Brushing the tongue can reduce the bacteria present, which can help with bad breath, officially known as halitosis or oral malodour. You should use the toothbrush bristles to gently scrape in a forward motion along the surface of the tongue.