World Oral Health Day survey exposes oral health myths

World Oral Health DayOn World Oral Health Day, FDI World Dental Federation and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) are recognising how integral oral health is to our over wellbeing by busting the myths around what people around the world believe to be good oral health practices, in the process encouraging Australia to become better informed and take action.

President of the ADA, Dr Hugo Sachs, stated “This World Oral Health Day, 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.”

The results from a survey carried out in 12 countries by YouGov on behalf of FDI, exposed a significant gap between what Australians believe to be good oral health practices, versus what they actually do. Just over half (51%) of people surveyed mistakenly think it is 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.

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 optimize the preventative effects.

Over a third (35%) surveyed felt that drinking fruit juice rather than fizzy drinks was important for good oral health. Fruit juice however, 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. “We want everyone to take control of their oral health this World Oral Health Day and understand that by adopting good oral hygiene habits, avoiding risk factors and having a regular dental check-up, they can help protect their mouths. 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.”