Australians like to think they are in good shape when it comes to the state of the country’s oral health, overall the trends are not looking good. But, there is a tooth decay crisis in Australia.
More children than ever are having decayed teeth extracted or filled.
Just over a third of five – to six year old have decay in their primary teeth and almost 40 per cent of 12-14 year old have decay in their permanent teeth. What is concerning, is that 10% of teenagers with the most extensive tooth decay have up to five times more decay than the average.
This means, in Australia there are people who still suffer from poor oral health.
There are many different pressure on families today which have contributed to these issues.
Lack of education, being time poor, laziness or simply struggling to live a healthy lifestyle , or locations where there is no access to a car are some of the reasons.
Tooth decay is caused by consuming sugar and any fermentable carbohydrate. For example, the less obvious non-sweet foods such as hot chips or bananas can be a problem for teeth.
The issue is the frequency with which sugary and fermentable carbohydrate foods and drinks are consumed as opposed to the quantity in one sitting. Your not doing your teeth or childrens teeth a favour by snacking or sipping on these carbohydrates.
Give teeth a rest between meals and snacks ( about 2 hours ) this will allow the natural protective buffering of acids and the repair of teeth by saliva.
The ADA recommends limiting sugary treats to meal times, rather than between meals.
Regular brushing with fluoride containing toothpaste and flossing, and for younger children a toothpaste appropriate to their age bracket. This will decrease the risk of acids being bade when eating and drinking.
Children are a vulnerable group and is more important healthy eating habits are encouraged.
Author: Marina Sideris