Aussies encouraged to get their eyes and mouth checked as nation opens up


With the majority of the country now enjoying COVID-normal conditions, Australians are being encouraged to book end of year check-ups in the wake of concerns that people may have cancelled or not scheduled their regular dental or optical appointments over the past year as a result of lockdowns or COVID-19 fears.

Research suggests one in five people have delayed or avoided a visit to an allied health professional such as a dentist or optometrist during the last 3 months[1].

Dr Dwayne Crombie, Director of Health Services for Bupa Australia & New Zealand said the lead up to the end of year is a timely reminder to book a dental check-up and eye test or reschedule one which may have been cancelled.

“As we approach summer, it’s a good time to stop and think about whether you have seen a dentist during the calendar year, and if you haven’t, to book one in for the near future.

“This is particularly important given how our routines and lifestyles have been altered over the past 18 months,” said Dr Crombie.

With most Australian cities mandating the wearing of face masks in different settings, there are reports that suggest people are significantly less concerned with their smile and breath with the use of masks[2].

Regular appointments with your friendly local dentist are a vital part of maintaining your oral and general health. While you can hide the look of your teeth behind a mask, you cannot hide away from issues such as tooth decay or gum disease which can become serious problems if left untreated.”

The end of the year also serves as a reminder for people to book in their regular eye test which can identify changes to your eye and general health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and rolling lockdowns certainly changed the way children and adults learnt and worked, with many people exposed to screens for hours a day.

Studies suggest screen time increased in children by an average of 3.2 hours a day following pandemic related school closures.

“People who suspect they, or their child, have developed a vision impairment or are experiencing a deterioration of an existing condition should visit an optometrist as soon as possible.

“Something as simple as a pair of glasses or contacts can make a significant and immediate difference to your daily life, said Dr Crombie.

To find a Bupa Dental clinic near you visit here.

To find a Bupa Optical store near you visit here.

[1] https://ahpa.com.au/advocacy/australians-are-delaying-healthcare-appointments-and-tests-during-covid-19