Dental Health Week
New research suggests that many Australians are still unaware that frequent consumption of sports drinks puts dental health at risk. The research commissioned by the Australian Dental Association revealed that many of
those who drink sports drinks are unaware that the amount of acid in these drinks can lead to teeth erosion in as little as five days of daily use.
Even though saliva is a powerful natural defence mechanism against erosion, saliva does not have enough time to repair the damage if teeth are exposed to the acids in sports drinks too often. In Australia, three in ten adults have untreated tooth decay. What’s worse is 50% of children under 12 years old have experienced untreated tooth decay in their permanent teeth. “Over the last few decades, the oral health of Australians has started to deteriorate,
and in particular we are seeing higher levels of dental disease than ever before,” said Dr Peter Alldritt, Dentist and Chair of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee.
“It is worrying to see that nearly one in two are neglecting their dental health by excessively drinking sports drinks, sipping them over long periods of time frequently each week, causing potentially permanent damage to their teeth.”
Protect your teeth with these simple steps:
• Drink water where possible – it has no acid, no sugar and no kilojoules.
• Avoid sports and intra-workout drinks
• Use a straw so your teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid in the drinks
• Protect your teeth by brushing twice daily
• Chew a sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva flow that will help protect your teeth.
If you know anyone who has needed an organ transplant or replacement tissue, you will recognise the importance of DonateLife Week, Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation. Donation Specialist Sonia Braithwaite said DonateLife Week is a perfect time for people
to have the conversation that could save a life. “DonateLife Week provides a timely reminder to all Australians of the need to discuss their donation decision with loved ones,” Sonia said.
“Family discussion around donation decisions is vital. The majority of families say that having discussed and knowing the donation decision of their loved one made it much easier to support donation proceeding if that is their wish”.
Only around 1% of people die in hospital in the specific circumstances where organ donation is possible. However, many more people can become eye and tissue donors as tissues can be donated up to 24 hours after death regardless
of where death occurred. “While the possibility of organ donation is quite small, one organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of 10 or more people,” Ms Braithwaite said.
Once people have decided about organ and tissue donation, they can register their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register. For more information visit www.donatelife.gov.au.