Dental Health Week 2020

We at Robert Street Dental Practice together with the Australian Dental Association celebrate Dental Health Week 2020 --“How Much Sugar is Hiding In Your Trolley?”. It draws on the concept of hidden sugars and reading food labels in order to make healthy choices. Making healthy choices at the supermarket extends to making similar smart food and drink choices at home. Saying ‘no’ to an unhealthy item in the supermarket means you don’t have to continue to say ‘no’ at home.  

Timeto take a closer look at your supermarket purchases.

They’renot as healthy as you might think.

Beinghealthy is something that most of us aim for.

We brushour teeth twice a day. We go for a jog around the neighbourhood. We eat ahandful of nuts instead of chomping on a chocolate. We see our doctor wheneverwe don’t feel well.

But are you aware that all your good work could be being undone bysugars lurking in the depths of many of the processed food items you consume?

Sugar is everywhere in supermarket staples, even some that mightappear to be healthy on the surface, and so this Dental Health Week (3 -9 August |, we’re pullingback the sugary curtain to show you what’s really in the food you eat, and howthis information can help you be healthier all over but especially in yourmouth.

In other words, we want you to become more “sugar savvy”.

Dental Health Week is an annual event run by the Australian DentalAssociation which aims to make everyone aware of the key things they need to doto keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Hiding in plain sight
You might think that a little extra sugar here and there isn’t such a big deal,but the odds are that you are taking in far more than you realise.

Figures show that the average Australian is consuming 14 teaspoons ofsugar a day, a whole lot more than the maximum six teaspoons a day recommendedby the World Health Organisation for increased health benefits such asdecreasing the risk of tooth decay, which is having a profoundly negativeeffect on Australia’s dental health as revealed by Australia’s Oral HealthTracker (

To help you get within the recommended range, and be healthier intothe bargain, this year’s Dental Health Week is all about showing you what dailysugar consumption level looks like in relation to the food you eat, how to reada food label so you can see what’s really in your food, and how sugar cannegatively affect your dental health.

Beyond that, we want to show how easy it is to keep your teeth and gumshealthy by following a few simple tips.

If you'relike most people, there’s not a whole of brushing going on. In fact, only 50%of Australians brush twice a day.  Thereality is that a quick, occasional dash along your teeth with a hope and aprayer is not going to cut it. As your dentist will tell you, you need to brushfor at least two minutes twice a day, taking care to use a soft-bristledtoothbrush (they're less damaging to your teeth and gums than their hardercounterparts) to clean your teeth systematically along all surfaces, alwaysbrushing in small, circular motions.

Flossing(or using an interdental brush) once a day is important because it removesplaque from between your teeth which goes a long way in helping to prevent gumdisease, tooth decay and halitosis ("bad breath"). It's not somethingthat should be rushed either. Take your time, using a gentle side-to-sidemotion with about 45cm wound around your middle fingers and thumb. If you'renot sure about the right technique, have a chat to your dentist who can showyou all the right flossing moves.

Say "Hello!" Toyour dentist

If you havea regular dentist, and it is a good idea to have one since it means your teethwill get the consistent care they need, you should be seeing them more often thanyou probably are, with one survey revealing that 65% of Australians have notseen a dentist in the last two years. Yup, that’s right – two whole years.Sure, that’s extra time for catching on Game of Thrones but is it goodfor your teeth, and the health of your whole mouth? Not really. You shouldreally be seeing your dentist every 6 to 12 months or as needed to keep on topof your dental health.

Don’t have a regular dentist? We can help withthat! The ADA’s Find a Dentist ( and Choosing aDentist ( make it easy!

Eat and drink well
Beyond limitingthe sugar you eat, we recommend drinking more tap water, avoid snacking betweenmeals, instead sticking to three meals a day and concentrating on the goodstuff like vegetables and dairy products. Of course, before you make any majordietary changes, first check with a healthcare professional.

How do we knowthe average Aussie isn’t giving their dental health the required amount of attention?Australia’s Oral Health Tracker, launched last year and updated in 2020,is a national report card on the health of our mouths and how this impacts howhealthy we are overall. You can find out more about how healthy we are and howhealthy we’d like to be at