About Dental Health Week

Dental Health Week (DHW) is the Australian Dental Association’s (ADA)’s major annual oral health campaign. It takes place each year in the first full week of August. This year DHW will be August 2 - 8, 2021.

The focus of the 2021 campaign is the importance of taking steps to care for your teeth and gums to help you to keep your teeth for life. The ADA's main oral health messages and the four key messages of the 2021 DHW campaign aim to reinforce the importance of maintaining good oral health:
•    Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
•    Clean between your teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes.
•    Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake.
•    Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventive care.

These important messages are reinforced via the tagline ‘Keep your smile for life’. It should not be a normal expectation that at some stage of your life, teeth will need to be removed because of tooth decay or gum disease. Australians should expect to keep their teeth for their lifetime and practising the four key messages above can help people to reach this goal. People do not expect to lose their arm, then why expect to lose teeth. 
Tempting as it is to think that everyone is practising good oral health, the reality is that the oral health of many Australians is not where it should be.
•     75% adults rarely or never floss or clean between their teeth.
•     1 in 5 adults brush only once per day.
•     39% of parents report their children drink 2 - 5 soft drinks per week. 
•     2 in 3 adults usually visit the dentist for a problem rather than a regular check-up.
•     47% of adults (18+ years) are consuming too much sugar.
More statistics on the oral health of Australian children and adults can be found in Australia’s Oral Health Tracker.

There are multiple ways to access information about oral health as part of Dental Health Week 2021. A visit to your dentist is great for face-to-face advice where your questions can be answered. If you don’t have a regular dentist, check out the ADA’s Find A Dentist site to locate one nearby. Additionally, written and audio content is available by exploring the Dental Health Week website as well as the ADA’s Your Dental Health webpage.