Busting oral health myths

Earlier this year the Australian Dental Association (ADA) reviewed a survey carried out in 12 countries, by YouGov on behalf of FDI World Dental Federation, which exposed a significant gap between what Australians believed to be good oral health practices, versus what actually are good oral health practices.

For example, just over half (51%) of people surveyed mistakenly thought it was important to brush your teeth straight after every main meal. FDI recommends waiting at least 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth to avoid weakening tooth enamel.

President of the ADA, Dr Hugo Sachs, stated “It is vital Australians take ownership of their oral health and separate truth from myth. Understanding good oral health practices and adopting them early in life, will help to maintain optimal oral health into old age and ensure you live a long life free from physical pain and often emotional suffering caused by oral disease.”

Two out of three (66%) reported they rinsed their mouth out with water after brushing, with a similar amount (69%) tending to do this. It is actually recommended not to rinse with water straight after brushing to allow maximum exposure to fluoride, which will optimise the preventative effects.

Over a third (35%) surveyed felt that drinking fruit juice rather than fizzy drinks was important for good oral health. However, fruit juice can also be high in sugar which can cause tooth decay. FDI recommends keeping consumption of sugary drinks to a minimum as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

“These survey results highlight an alarming discrepancy between knowledge and actual good oral health practices,” said Dr Patrick Hescot, FDI President.

“A healthy mouth allows us to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions with confidence and without pain, discomfort and disease. Good oral health matters and translates to a better quality of life.”

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