Dental Health Week

1 to 7 August 2016

Dental Health Week takes place every year, in the first week of August. This year the theme is women and oral health with a focus on raising the awareness of the increased oral health needs of women during key life stages and supporting women to take a proactive approach to their dental health.  

SA Dental Service will be promoting dental health week at dental clinics across SA and the Adelaide Dental Hospital with a focus on oral care during pregnancy.

Tips for good oral health

  • Use a small soft toothbrush to clean your teeth morning and night.
  • Children aged up to 17 months do not need fluoride toothpaste.
  • Children aged 18 months to 5 years, use a pea-sized amount of low fluoride children's toothpaste.  
  • Children aged 6 years and up and adults, used a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Spit the toothpaste out - but don't rinse.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly. 
  • Limit soft drinks, energy drinks, cordials and juices.
  • Plain tap water is the best drink for your teeth. 
  • Choose healthy snacks between meals such as fruit, vegetables, plain yoghurt and cheese.   
  • Adults can chew sugar free gum between meals to stimulate saliva, which will help to protect teeth from tooth decay.
  • If you're a smoker, think about quitting.  Call the Quitline on 13 7848.

Pregnancy and your oral health 

Before pregnancy......

Keep your teeth and gums healthy

  • Gently brush your teeth and gums morning and night.
  • Use a small, soft toothbrush and pea-sized amount of adult fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Plain tap water is the best drink. 
  • Frequent snacking on sweet foods, cordials and fruit juice can lead to dental erosion and tooth decay.  
  • If you're a smoker, think about quitting.  Call the Quitline on 13 7848.

Now you're pregnant......

  • You may experience gum problems (bleeding and tenderness). Gently brush your gums when you brush your teeth.
  • If you gag when brushing, try later in the morning when the gag reflex may not be as strong.
  • A smaller brush might be helpful for the back teeth.
  • You may experience pregnancy sickness or gastric reflux – rinse your mouth with water after vomiting.
  • Try not to brush your teeth for 30 minutes after vomiting – this will give the enamel time to recover from the acid attack.
  • Visit your dentist in early pregnancy to have your teeth and gums checked. Don’t forget to mention you’re pregnant.
  • There is no truth to the old wives tale that ‘a tooth is lost with every pregnancy’.
  • Your baby’s teeth start developing in the first three months of pregnancy.
  • Once your baby is born, decay causing germs may be transferred from mother to child. Avoid sharing spoons with your child.  For more information see give your child’s teeth a healthy start.

Give your child's teeth a healthy start 

  • Breast milk is best for your baby. If you are not breast feeding use infant formula. 
  • If bottle feeding, take the bottle away when your child has finished feeding. 
  • Sweet drinks are not meant for the bottle or sipper cup.
  • From 6 months baby can have plain tap water in a cup.
  • Put your child to bed without a bottle.
  • Clean your child's teeth as they come through, with a clean cloth or a small soft toothbrush. 
  • Lift your child's top lip once a month to check for early signs of tooth decay.

See dental services for children for more information.  

Further information

For further information about Dental Health Week visit the Australian Dental Association web page.

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