The Bleeding Obvious ™– Vol 11

By Dr Richard Johnston

Healthy Habits for a Healthier You: Just Six Minutes a Day!”

In this article, we’re talking about a simple daily routine that can make a big difference in your overall health. You see, a whopping 70% of Australian adults believe that taking care of their oral health is important. However, what might come as a surprise is that about 65% of us don’t realise how closely our mouth health is linked to some pretty serious medical conditions.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recently conducted a Consumer Survey that sheds light on this issue. It turns out that many people are confused about the connection between neglecting their oral health and the potential for serious health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

Here’s the kicker: 75% of us rarely or never floss, and nearly one in five of us brush only once a day. These are two simple and essential steps for maintaining a healthy mouth. So, most of us have some room for improvement.

The good news is that dedicating just six minutes a day to brushing and flossing can help prevent these negative effects of poor oral hygiene on your overall health.

The big message from this year’s ADA Dental Health Week is all about how our mouth’s health is closely linked to our overall well-being.

Another interesting finding from the survey is that fewer people have put off seeing their dentist in the past year (58% compared to 67% in 2021). However, the majority of us still only visit the dentist when we have a problem, which isn’t ideal. It’s no wonder that 57% of people rated their dental health as ‘poor,’ ‘very poor,’ or ‘fair’ in the recent ADA survey.

Research spanning decades has shown that poor oral health, including untreated gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss, is connected to various other health problems. These include issues like low birthweight and premature births, strokes, kidney disease, dementia, Type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The good news is that it’s never too late to start taking better care of your oral health. We suggest a simple routine: brush twice a day and clean between your teeth at least once a day. These are quick and easy measures that all Australians should be practising.

If you suspect you have a dental issue or it’s been a while since your last check-up, don’t hesitate to see your dentist. Early detection of problems makes them much easier to fix.

Remember, dedicating just six minutes a day to brushing and flossing can make a world of difference. Your mouth will thank you, and so will your entire body!