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Dental Health Week

5 to 11 August 2019

Dental Health Week takes place every year, in the first week of August. This year the theme is ‘How’s your oral health tracking?’ with a focus on promoting key oral health messages for all age groups.

Tracking oral health through the ages:

Pregnancy 

  • Visit your dentist in early pregnancy to have your teeth and gums checked. Don’t forget to mention 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.
  • For more information please see our Dental care during pregnancy page or refer to our brochure under related resources.

Babies

6 months

    • If you are bottle feeding, don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle. Putting baby to bed with a bottle is the main cause of tooth decay in young children.
    • Babies teeth should start to come through soon.
    • As soon as teeth are present, start cleaning with a clean damp cloth or small soft toothbrush (no toothpaste until baby is 18 months old). 
    • For more information please see the Keep smiling brochure for babies birth to 12 months.

12 months

    • Lift your child’s top lip once a month to look for early signs of tooth decay. White chalky lines on the teeth near the gum can be the beginning of tooth decay.
    • Babies should give up the bottle by 1 year.
    • Some cereal and fruit pouches contain a lot of sugar and can also be acidic, increasing the risk of tooth decay and erosion.
    • For more information please see the Keep smiling Dental tips brochure 12 to 24 months.

18 months

    • Your baby can start to use a pea size amount of low dose fluoride children's toothpaste. 

    • Tap water is the best drink as most tap water in Australia contains fluoride which helps strengthen teeth and helps to reduce tooth decay.

    • First dental visit is recommended at around 12 – 18 months, for more information please see our Dental services for babies page. 

Pre-schoolers

  • Help your child brush their teeth every day until they are around 8 years old.
  • Every time you have something sweet to eat or drink, acid is produced in the mouth.
  • Help prevent tooth decay by limiting how often you have sugary food and drinks, for more information see the Keep Smiling Dental tips for pre-schoolers aged 3-5 years. 

Children and teenagers

  • Brush morning and night using a small soft toothbrush and a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Spit the toothpaste out, don’t rinse. Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps to strengthen your teeth. This works best if you don't rinse the paste off after brushing.
  • Consuming sugary or acidic food or drinks often, increases your risk of developing tooth decay and/or tooth erosion.
  • For more information please see our Dental services for children page or refer to the related resources. 

Adults

  • Use a small, soft toothbrush to clean your teeth and gums morning and night.
  • Use adult fluoride toothpaste. After brushing, spit the toothpaste out but don’t rinse.
  • Plain tap water is the best drink for your teeth.
  • For more information see the Adults dental care page. 
  • If you're a smoker, think about quitting, call the Quitline on 13 7848. For more information please see our Dental care - smoking and your mouth page or see our brochure

Older people

  • Dry mouth is a common side effect of many of the medications prescribed for older people. It is an uncomfortable condition. Dry mouth affects a person’s ability to speak, taste, chew and swallow food. It increases the risk of tooth decay and oral infections.
  • Keep your mouth moist by sipping plain tap water and limit sugary food or drinks, juice, tea, coffee and alcohol.
  • Ask your dentist or pharmacist about dry mouth products.
  • For more information please see the Good oral health and healthy ageing booklet. 

Dental visits

Further information

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

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