Keep your smile healthy during Dental Health Week

This week is Dental Health Week, a time dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of good oral health.

The theme for 2021 is ‘Keep your smile for life’, which focuses on the significance of taking steps to care for your teeth and gums to help you keep your smile for life.

The Dental team at Monash Health have shared advice on the common myths associated with dental care to determine whether they are true or false.

Myth: Rinse your mouth after brushing

Verdict: False

We are told to rinse our mouths with water after brushing. However, rinsing your mouth after brushing will wash away the active ingredients in the fluoride toothpaste that help prevent tooth decay.

Tip: New guidelines recommend spitting out, not rinsing. This leaves a thin layer of the good stuff on your teeth where it will have the biggest benefit!

Myth: Mouthwash is always good

Verdict: False

Long term use of some mouthwashes, especially mouthwashes containing alcohol, can have side effects such as gum irritation and can mask dental problems.

Tip: If using mouthwash to freshen your breath in between brushing, replace with a sugar-free chewing gum.

Myth: Charcoal is a safe way to whiten your teeth

Verdict: a bit of both.

It is suggested that charcoal can whiten teeth by absorbing stains. However, like many whitening products, they can be abrasive and should only be used for short periods.

Tip: Never use homemade charcoal products as the charcoal is not activated and can be more abrasive.

Monash Health Dental Service is contributing to Dental Health Week by hosting events for clients and employees, including:

  • Screenings and educational activities for children, educators, parents, and Supported Residential Services
  • Professional Developmental workshops for dental teams covering topics relating to effective communication to deliver the best care to patients.
  • Infection control and OVA training for employees.
  • A webinar on “How would you address Victoria’s Public Dental Waiting Lists?, organised by The University of Melbourne and the Victorian Oral Health Alliance.


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