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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 vigi-
lant 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 sim-
ple steps that can make a big difference
to oral health and overall well-being.
"Firstly, make su re you have regular
dental check-ups," Dr Blaney-Brown
"Secondly, have a good oral hygiene
regime, br ush at least twice a day and
floss 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 developing
and stop minor problems developing
into major ones. Taking good care of
your oral health can be seen as a long
Flossing daily is an integral part of
good oral hygiene practice.
It is the only way to remove debris
from between the teeth where tooth-
br ushes cannot reach.
Without br ushing and flossing the
plaque left on the teeth can produce tox-
ins that ultimately cause decay and gu m
Left untreated, gum disease can lead
to more severe problems. Untreated
decay can lead to root fillings 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 you r
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 tooth-
"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 br ush
one tooth at a time without missing
too many areas. Teeth should feel very
smooth after br ushing for at least two
"They really do make a huge differ-
ence to the oral health of patients I see
who are using them properly."
If you experience sensitivity with
your teeth, try toothpaste for sensitive
If the problem persists, see your den-
tist, as it may be an indication of a more
serious condition, such as a cavity or a
Ms Musial said she also recommend-
ed using toothpastes containing fluo-
"It's just a matter of finding a type
of toothpaste which works for you and
meets your requirements," she said.
"Just check with your dentist to find
out which is most appropriate for you."
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-Brown advised limiting
snacks between meals to reduce the fre-
quency of acid attack on tooth str ucture.
"When you do snack, choose nutri-
tious foods such as crackers, cheese, raw
vegetables or plain yogurt," she said.
"Remember to limit the amount of
soft drinks and drink plenty of water."
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 by Cpl Mark Doran
Cpl Mark Doran gets advice on taking care of
those pearly whites.
care of your oral
health can be
seen as a long
-- Dr Sioban Blaney-Brown
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