Health Updates

5.7 million Aussies living with dental health issues

New Medibank data reveals the state of our oral health.

Written by Medibank
Getting your wisdom teeth removed

Nearly six million Australians are living with at least one dental or oral health issue, according to Medibank data.

Findings from the Medibank Better Health Index – which surveys 1,000 Australians every week – shows 30% of people are affected by at least one dental or oral health issue.

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Of the conditions surveyed, tooth decay was the most common oral health issue, affecting 14% of Australians. Other oral health issues include gum problems, TMJ syndrome, coated tongue, sensitive teeth and mouth ulcers.

Could our love of sugary drinks be contributing?

It’s long been acknowledged that a diet high in sugar contributes to tooth decay, amongst other things. Yet Australians are still consuming a worrying number of sugary drinks each week. The Index indicates Australians had consumed a mean of 2.89 sugary drinks in the last week, with one in 10 consuming more than 8 sugary drinks a week.

Commenting on the data, Dr Jospeh Moussa, Principal Dentist from New Quay Dental Cosmetics said:

“Sugar and tooth decay are closely linked, so we all need to check food labels, and, try to limit or avoid sweets and sugary drinks.”

READ MORE: 8 benefits of cutting back on sugar

Keeping your teeth healthy

The following tips can help to keep your teeth healthy and prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush correctly: It’s important you brush your teeth at least twice a day to prevent plaque build-up, as this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, brush your teeth softly and in circular motions. Avoid brushing too hard as this can cause your gums to recede.

  • Floss regularly: Flossing is essential in protecting your teeth and gums. Aim to floss at least once a day, morning and/or night, to avoid food building up between teeth.

  • __Avoid smoking: __It’s best to avoid smoking completely. Not only can it lead to a number of dental issues, including stained teeth and tooth loss, but it can also increase your risk of mouth cancer.

  • __Reduce sugar intake: __It’s best to limit your consumption of fizzy drinks, chocolate and sweets, as these foods contain high amounts of sugar which can significantly contribute to tooth decay.

  • Visit the dentist regularly: Having regular dental check-ups will both help prevent dental health issues, and catch any problems early on. Get 100% back on up to two dental check-ups every year, including x-rays, at any Members’ Choice Advantage dentist. 2 month waiting period applies.

Written by Medibank

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