How to look after your teeth this Dental Care Week

Ever forget to brush? Eating and drinking too much sugar? Do you actually know how to floss? It’s that exciting time of year where we need to consider these things… Dental Health Week!

It’s the Australian Dental Association’s (ADA) biggest week of the year, so grab your toothbrush and get amongst it!

From the 3rd till the 9th of August, the dentist surgery will be the place to be. The ADA is encouraging dentists to brighten their clinics up with banners, balloons, streamers, posters, badges and fireworks…

Okay, maybe not fireworks, but it sure does sound like dental practices around the country are going to be a lot more colourful next week!

Consider getting dental cover

Don’t get too carried away by all the fun though. Next week’s celebrations of our brave dentists and precious teeth remind us of the importance of having dental cover as part of our health insurance extras. The Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) reveals that dental treatment is the most claimed extra, with over $607 million of dental benefits paid out during the quarter ending 31 March 2015.

So, it’s obvious a lot of us need dental work, which underlines the need for extras (with great dental coverage) as part of our private health insurance. If you don’t have it, you could be paying around $200 straight out of your pocket every time you get a general private check-up and clean. Either that, or find yourself stuck on a public dental waiting list for over a year.

When considering private health insurance extras, be sure to do your research and find health insurance extras with great dental cover.

Use your dental cover?

If you already have health insurance with extras cover, be sure to utilise it with regular trips to the dentist! Many health funds allow you to get free or low-cost preventative dental care at participating clinics – so make the most of it! It could save you down the line from having to undergo really expensive dental procedures – most of which may not be fully covered by your insurance.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 28% of those with dental health insurance in 2010 did not visit a dentist within the previous year. That’s a fair chunk of people not utilising something that they’re paying a fair chunk for!

What better time to visit your dentist than during Dental Health Week? Get in quick and join the party before it’s fully booked!

Save money and take care of your teeth

Of course, the best way to avoid expensive (and sometimes painful) dental treatments is to take better care of our teeth. The purpose of Dental Health Week is to encourage us to do just that.

The theme this year is “Sports and Oral Health” – a new campaign showcasing particular sporting behaviours that are putting our teeth at risk.

The ADA will be warning us of ‘The Seven Sporting Sins‘ that we are committing against our teeth.

  • Sin 2: Fuelling the Greed | Don’t be sucked in by the persuasive marketing of sports drinks
  • Sin 3: The Wrath of Trauma | Don’t forget to wear a mouthguard when playing impact/contact sports
  • Sin 4: Supplementing Vanity | Don’t overuse sugary sports supplements (e.g. pre-workout drinks)
  • Sin 5: Sports Gluttony | Don’t snack too much on foods that contain sugar like energy bars, sports gels and dried fruit
  • Sin 6: Performance Envy | Don’t be dehydrated (dehydration reduces your salivary flow which means your teeth are less protected from acid attacks)
  • Sin 7: Slothful avoidance | Don’t let busy training schedules make you guilty of slothfully avoiding of the dentist

So take heed all you sporty fitness junkies. Your body may be slim, muscly and toned, but don’t forget about those valuable pearls in your mouth! Also, remember the simple things: brushing and flossing. These can save you heaps on fillings and dental cleaning!

Click here to see the ADA’s guide on how to brush properly

Click here to see their guide on how to floss properly

For more tips on dental care, visit the Dental Health Week website

Keep smiling and happy Dental Health Week!

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