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Smile brighter in Dental Health Week

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Dental Prosthetist Jonathan Fedson, Senior Dental Officer of schools Dr Venessa Grandcourt, Senior Administration Officer Heather Barritt and Oral Health Team Leader Tania Ellis are ready for Dental Health Week. Photo: contributed.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service (WBHHS) Oral Health teams kicked off Dental Health Week on Monday with five days of education, info and advice about how oral health affects the whole body.

The theme of ‘Mind, Body, Mouth, it’s all connected’ had the teams focusing on the links between diseases in the mouth and diseases in the body.

According to WBHHS Oral Health, issues with the mouth, teeth or gums can be an early indication of serious health problems elsewhere in the body.

Bacteria in the mouth doesn’t just stay there but can travel all around the body, and when there is inflammation in the mouth there can be increased inflammation in other parts of the body.

There is a particularly strong link between severe gum disease and conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

WBHHS Oral Health teams aim to encourage everyone to be mindful that good oral health is the first step to ensuring the region’s residents have happy, healthy bodies.

Bundaberg Team Leader and Senior Oral Health Therapist Tania Ellis said the week provided an opportunity to deliver oral health messages to community in fun and engaging ways.

Each Dental Health Week, we see the creativity of our staff come to life – they dress up, create amazing decorations, and engage in conversations about keeping your mouth, teeth and gums as healthy as possible,” Tania said.

“Health, in general, can seem overwhelming to manage, but our oral health messages are fairly simple, and stay the same all year round.

“Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is one of the simplest things you can do to protect those pearly whites.

“On top of that, it’s really important that when you’re brushing your teeth, you brush, spit and leave.

“Fluoride is not added to the town water supply across the Wide Bay and Burnett regions, so rinsing after you brush removes the incredibly beneficial fluoride you’ve just introduced to your mouth.

“We also encourage people to eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake.

“To round it out, we also suggest that you visit the dentist regularly for checks ups and preventative care.

“We know seeing the dentist isn’t high on everyone’s list of fun things to do, but preventative care is crucial to ensuring any issues in the mouth don’t snowball to affect the rest of the body.”

During Dental Health Week, WBHHS Oral Health teams are sharing on their Facebook page top tips for brighter smiles, facts around how the mouth, body and mind are all connected, and photos of the teams and service areas decorated in celebration.