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Australian family routines have been significantly impacted in recent months, with many of us baking more, brushing our teeth less and ordering more takeaway food.
Today marks the start of Dental Health Week (3–9 August) and a new national survey of Australian parents released by Life Education and Philips Sonicare has revealed the negative effects of lockdown on our diets and dental routines.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! Philips Sonicare Ambassador and Principal Dentist at Tailored Teeth, Dr Rick Iskandar says it’s the perfect time to reflect on recent months and reignite healthy routines.
We share his five top tips to help families get their healthcare back on track below …
Philips Sonicare Ambassador and Principal Dentist at Tailored Teeth, Dr Rick Iskandar shares his tips for staying on top of tooth care during isolation.
1) Set a schedule
Our routines have changed drastically in recent months, with thousands of Aussies working from home (or off work altogether) and kids attending school virtually. This lack of structure has made it difficult to keep our hygiene habits on track.
In fact, what the new Life Education Parent Survey has revealed is that 42 percent of parents admit their children’s dental routine has changed and 35 percent acknowledging their own has also slipped. 34 percent of parents also admitted it’s been difficult to implement a dental health care routine for their kids.
Rather than relying on train timetables or school bells, we need to find new ways to keep our routine in check. Setting a schedule to brush your teeth at set times together will help to rebuild these habits as a family. Not only does this set a good example but it will create engaging family time that the kids can look forward to.
2) Supervise your shopping trolley
Spending more time at home hasn’t just changed our routine, it has also impacted our diet, with many of us baking more (45 percent) and increasing our takeaway food consumption (40 percent). In fact, 31 percent of parents admit their children’s sugar intake has increased in recent months, while 47 percent admit their own eating habits have also slipped.
It’s important we bring diet control back into the home to protect our teeth and gums, and the first stop is the shopping trolley. Make sure you read the nutrition label and opt for products which contain small amounts of natural sugars such as fruit and milk, over processed foods with large quantities of added sugar. It’s recommended that we consume no more than 6 teaspoons / 24 grams of added sugars per day.
3) See your dentist
Despite 86 percent of parents recognising their children should see the dentist at least once, if not twice a year, 30 percent admit their children haven’t been in over 12 months.
Prevention is better than cure, and the best advice I can give here is the sooner you go, the sooner you’ll have your oral health back under control. Dental health experts are a wealth of knowledge and can provide tips for both parents and kids. This is an excellent first step in building, or re-building, your oral health care routine.
WATCH: Tiny monkey being groomed in a sink and brushes his own teeth. Continues after video ..
4) Stress less… for your teeth!
There is no question that the world is going through a stressful time. However, what some may not realise is that some of the most damaging effects of stress can occur in our mouths. The combination of more uncertainty and less routine has expressed itself in negative ways on our oral health and I have seen a significant increase in the number of young patients recently suffering from teeth grinding, tension headaches and even cracked teeth.
With the increased sugar intake added to this combination, it’s the perfect storm for decay to set into these compromised, stressed teeth.
When getting back to a routine, don’t forget to schedule in some family relaxation time. Your teeth will thank you for it!