Oral health complacency a major barrier to wellbeing 

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With studies suggesting 58 per cent of people put off a visit to the dentist in the past year, Australians are being encouraged to use the second half of 2023 as an opportunity to get their oral health back on track. 

The call for greater proactivity comes amidst separate Bupa research that revealed more than a third of Australians believe lack of motivation or time pressures are getting in the way of optimal health and wellbeing routines. As it stands, the average adult has approximately 11 decayed, missing or filled teeth. 

Bupa Dental head dentist Dr Cathryn Madden said it’s vital people think beyond the concept of a beautiful smile and acknowledge the broader connection between oral health and general health when it comes to looking after their teeth and gums. 

“A visit to the dentist means a whole lot more than a simple clean and a search for cavities; we also look for signs of oral cancer, oral infections and a range of other conditions that can have a significant impact on your health if not addressed early,” Dr Madden said.

“We also provide advice on diet, brushing, flossing and other home-based routines to ensure you and your family can maintain a healthy mouth year-round.”

This advice is being reinforced during Dental Health Week (7 – 13 August), an annual awareness campaign aimed at promoting better oral health practices. This year’s theme of ‘Mind, Body, Mouth. It’s all connected’ aims to reinforce the message that a good oral hygiene routine, eating healthily and visiting a dental professional on a regular basis all play key roles in a person’s health. 

“If you haven’t seen a dentist during the calendar year, Dental Health Week is a fantastic reminder to book one in before potential oral health issues get away from you,” Dr Madden said. 

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