Getting Australia’s oral health back on track in 2021


With Australians enjoying a prolonged period of COVID-normal conditions, many people are finding they have a lot more to smile about in 2021.

However, upon closer inspection, some of these smiles may not be as healthy as they could be.

The latest oral health report from the Australian government[1] revealed an increase in untreated tooth decay amongst adults who are also visiting the dentist less frequently. These trends have been brought to light in the lead up to World Oral Health Day (20 March), an annual event aimed at empowering people with the knowledge and tools to maintain good oral health.

Bupa Head Dentist, Cathryn Madden said the dental industry made significant advancements in the ways dental care can be delivered as a result of COVID-19.

“As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, innovations such as virtual consultations via smartphones with patients made dentists accessible and gave people opportunities to help address any emerging oral health issues. Despite these innovations that compliment face-to face consultations, it is concerning that many are still avoiding dental care,” said Dr Madden.

Australian Government data has also revealed the leading cause of preventable hospitalisation in Australian children is dental diseases,[2]

“Detrimental changes to your teeth can happen very slowly and by the time you seek help, a small problem can turn into a big one. Regular check-ups with your friendly local dentist are a vital part of maintaining your oral health,” said Dr Madden

Along with regular dental visits, Australians are encouraged to monitor their intake of alcohol which when consumed at higher levels can increase the risk of oral cancer.

“If like many Australians, you have been consuming more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic,[3] it’s worth scheduling a check-up with your dentist… a quick conversation and examination could help you avoid health problems.

“Simple habits like brushing and flossing properly along with responsible consumption of alcohol and sugary treats can help ensure you’ll have a healthy smile to show-off for many years to come. Be proud of your mouth!” said Dr Madden.

For more information on World Oral Health Day visit here.

To find a Bupa dentist near you visit here.

[1] National Oral Health Plan 2015–2024: performance monitoring report
[2] https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/dental-oral-health/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/hospitalisations
[3] https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/alcohol-consumption-increases-during-covid-19-crisis