Did you know that only 51 per cent of us clean our teeth twice a day? Little wonder then that 25 per cent of adults are currently walking around with untreated tooth decay.
Or that 34 per cent of children aged five to six have decay in their primary teeth? And that nearly one in ten potentially preventable hospitalisations in children aged five to nine are due to dental conditions?
During the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Dental Health Week in August, dentists are urging adults and kids to pick up their toothbrushes twice a day with their 'How's Your Oral Health Tracking?' campaign.
Other worrying statistics from the ADA's Oral Health Tracker includes the fact that 70 per cent of children aged nine to 13, and 73 per cent of 14 to 18 year olds, consume more sugar than is advised by health experts, while in adults the figure is nearly 48 per cent.
ADA's Oral Health Promoter Dr Mikaela Chinotti said they were reminding both adults and kids to brush morning and night, as well as floss daily, eat a nutritious diet low in sugar and visit their dentist regularly.
"If people follow these four key steps, they're likely to maintain good oral health, decreasing their risk of tooth decay and gum disease," Dr. Chinotti said.
"There's still a lack of understanding surrounding some aspects of oral health. For example, not many adults know that frequent consumption of wine can damage your teeth due to its low pH level, which can cause tooth erosion."
"Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australian adults and children. It's a disease that's largely preventable, so we want to help instil good dental habits from an early age."
"The parents or carers of children as young as two years old should be flossing their child's teeth that are touching side-by-side, every day. Then with gentle and regular instruction, kids should then be able to manage it on their own by the age of eight or nine."
There are also some golden rules when it comes to the right way to brush your teeth to maintain your teeth and gum hygiene in between visits to the dentist.
- Use a small soft brush so as not to damage enamel or gums.
- Use one pea-sized blob of fluoride-toothpaste.
- Tilt your brush at 45 degrees to clean gums.
- Brush in circles gently.
- If using an electric toothbrush hold the brush still for three seconds on each tooth.
- Brush inside and outside on all chewing surfaces. Then upper and lower teeth.
- Don't miss inside front teeth. Brush up and down to reach these properly.
- Brush tongue to get rid of bacteria.
- Floss every single day.