LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Tooth decay can be avoided

October is a focus month for making the world cavity-free.

We’re highlighting how simple changes in behaviour, like choosing water over other drinks, can affect oral health and help prevent cavities. 

Australia’s dental health is in dire straits.

This year’s results from Australia’s Oral Health Tracker show over 90 per cent of Australian adults have had dental caries.

The report shows more than a third of Australia’s kids aged 5 to 6 have decay in their baby teeth.

Colgate’s Dr Susan Cartwright says by instilling some simple behavioural habits we can decrease the high rate of dental disease.

“Cavities are largely preventable.

“By following four simple steps everyone can work towards a cavity-free future.

“Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. reduce the amount and frequency of sugar you consume, have regular check-ups and choose water over sugary drinks.”

Lindy Sank, of the Sydney Dental Hospital, says healthy habits should start young as children often continue early dietary habits into adulthood and adults can be good role models by drinking water.

“Drinking too many soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices can lead to consumption of excess calories and added sugars.

“A 600ml bottle of soft drink can contain 15 teaspoons of sugar.

“That’s more than twice the daily intake of free sugar recommended for adults and children by the World Health Organisation for greatest health benefits – six teaspoons.

“f we replace sugary drinks with water and the recommended two portions of fresh fruit daily, we’re hydrating, decreasing the chance of becoming obese or developing diabetes and helping prevent tooth decay.”

The ADA’s Dr Hugo Sachs also says healthy habits should start young and adults can encourage children by being role models and drinking water first. 

AVRIL TURNER

Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future

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