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August 2, 2012
HEALTHY teeth make you
look and feel good, and excel-
lent oral hygiene is one way
of keeping a bright smile. It
means your teeth are clean, your gums
are pink and you do not suffer from
ADF members should also be
vigilant with their dental health to
ensure their operational readiness.
Personnel who are not dentally fit
when they deploy are more likely to
become non-battle casualties as a result
of dental disease, which may require
emergency treatment or evacuation.
Sioban Blaney-Brown, of the
Russell Health Centre, recommends
some simple steps that can make
a big difference to oral health and
"Firstly, make sure you have
regular dental check-ups," Dr Blaney-
"Secondly, have a good oral
hygiene regime, brush at least twice a
day and f loss daily to remove plaque
and help prevent dental decay.
"Thirdly, eat a well-balanced diet
limiting high sugar foods and soft
"There is no doubt that preventive
care can help stop problems develop-
ing and stop minor problems devel-
oping into major ones. Taking good
care of your oral health can be seen
as a long ter m investment."
Flossing daily is an integral part
of good oral hygiene practice.
It is the only way to remove
debris from between the teeth where
toothbr ushes can not reach.
Without brushing and f lossing the
plaque left on the teeth can produce
toxins that ultimately cause decay
and gum disease.
Left untreated, gum disease
can lead to more severe problems.
Untreated decay can lead to root fill-
ings or even extraction of teeth.
If your gums hurt or bleed while
br ushing or f lossing, or you are expe-
riencing persistent bad breath, see
Early treatment is less painful,
expensive and wor rying than treating
conditions that have been allowed to
Dental hygienist Sarah Musial
said she was an advocate of electric
"Electric br ushes have a smaller,
round head that you can manoeuvre
to clean more effectively in those
hard to reach areas," Ms Musial said.
"They also encourage you to
brush one tooth at a time without
missing too many areas. Teeth should
feel very smooth after br ushing for at
least two minutes.
"They really do make a huge dif-
ference to the oral health of patients I
see who are using them properly."
If you experience sensitivity with
your teeth, try toothpaste for sensi-
If the problem persists, see your
dentist, as it may be an indication of
a more serious condition, such as a
cavity or a cracked tooth.
Ms Musial said she also recom-
mended using toothpastes containing
"It's just a matter of finding a
type of toothpaste which works for
you and meets your requirements,"
"Just check with your dentist to
find out which is most appropriate
Eating a well-balanced diet gives
your gums and teeth the important
nutrients and minerals they need to
stay strong and resist infections.
Dr Blaney-Brow n advised limit-
ing snacks between meals to reduce
the frequency of acid attack on tooth
EXPERT CARE: As dental professionals, dentist Sioban Blaney-Brown,
left, and hygienist Sarah Musial, of the Russell Health Centre in Canberra,
are well qualified to offer advice about oral health.
Photo: CPL Mark Doran
CPL Mark Doran gets advice on taking care of those pearly whites.
Look after that smile
care of your oral
health can be seen
as a long term
-- Dr Sioban Blaney-Brown
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