” Apunipima is participating in a range of activities over the next fortnight to celebrate Dental Health Week (7-13 August)
Our staff will be talking about the link between sugary drinks and tooth decay, and promoting the messages
#SugaryDrinksProperNoGood and #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla,
part of Apunipima’s Healthy Communities social marketing campaign, which aims to reduce sugary drinks consumption among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York.”
From Apunipima’s Healthy Communities Mob Part 2 below
- There is limited representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the oral health workforce and many dental services are not culturally sensitive. For example, strict appointment times and inflexibility regarding ‘failure to attend’ may result in a fee to the consumer.
- Trends indicate that the high-level dental decay in deciduous (baby) teeth is rising
- Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over, attending public dental services, experience tooth decay at three times the rate of their Non-Indigenous counterparts and are more than twice as likely to have advanced periodontal (gum) disease
- Aboriginal people experience complete tooth loss at almost five times the rate of the non-Indigenous population
- The rate of potentially preventable dental hospitalisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is higher than other Australians. Accessibility of services is a key factor contributing to the current gap between the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rest of the population.
- More than two in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 defer or avoid dental care due to cost. This is compared with one in eight (12.2%) who delayed or did not go to a GP.
Improving the overall oral health of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will require more than a focus on oral health behaviours. Culture, individual and community social and emotional wellbeing, history, demography, social position, economic characteristics, biomedical factors, and the available health services within a person’s community all form part of the complex causal web which determines an individual’s oral health status.
“Reducing sugary drinks will not only protect their teeth but also their wider health.This is yet another justification for the introduction of a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages as a preventive public health measure”
This Dental Health Week Michael Moore, CEO of the ( PHAA) Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and other members of the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance are urging Australians to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks.
Part 2 #SugaryDrinksProperNoGood – It’s Dental Health Week!
Apunipima staff will run activities with children and young people as well as hold health information stalls in Weipa, Napranum and Mapoon to promote the campaign messages in Dental Health Week
‘The team will run a workshop for Western Cape College secondary students alongside Dr Matt More, Head of Dental Services for Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service in Weipa,’ Apunipima Health Promotion Officer Kiarah Cuthbert said.
‘We will be talking to young people about the amount of sugar in popular drinks, such as soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks and the impact of that sugar on your teeth and overall health.’
‘From there, we will head to Mapoon to spend time at the primary school yarning with kids about the sugar in drinks. We will also invite the kids to take part in a local art competition with the winner’s work used to promote the #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla message in Mapoon.’
‘Apunipima staff will then hold a health information stall at Napranum store and run an after school activity at Napranum PCYC, where young people will also have the chance to take part in a local art competition to promote the #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla message.
These activities will be supported by Napranum Tackling Indigenous Smoking Health Worker, Ernest Madua who will also be yarning with people about what smoking can do to your teeth and mouth.’
Apunipima Child Health Nurse Robyn Lythall, Chronic Disease Health Worker Georgia Gibson and Dietitian Jarrah Marsh gave kids from Nola’s Daycare and George Bowen Memorial Kindergarten Apunipima ‘Drink More Water Youfla’ water bottles last week which will really save the staff lugging big containers of water!
The bottles are plastic, easily stored in the fridge and will have the children’s photos on them so the kids know which one is theirs!
Big esso (thank you) to the Apunipima teams that helped with this!
The few remaining water bottles are being kept for children receiving their four year old health checks and their immunisations to help them get healthy habits for school.
Staff are encouraging kids coming in for health checks and shots to fill their bottles from the watercooler at the Hopevale Primary Health Care Centre on their way out.
The Healthy Communities Project Team (Cara Laws, Tiffany Williams, Kiarah Cuthbert and Kani Thompson) would like to thank Hopevale staff for sharing the water bottles, which are merchandise from our Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla campaign.
Picture: Childcare worker Auntie Irene Bambie and Georgia Gibson
Acid, sugar in sugary drinks pose serious threat to teeth
Part 3 Australians urged to choose tap water this Dental Health Week
Many Australians know that sugary drinks are not a healthy dietary choice, but they may not realise the serious damage they cause to teeth.
In line with the theme of Dental Health Week (7–13 August 2017) – Oral Health for Busy Lives, the health and community organisations behind Rethink Sugary Drink are calling on Australians to think of their teeth before reaching for a sugary drink when out and about.
Chair of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee, Professor David Manton, said sugary drinks contained sugar and acid that weakens tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay.
“Dental decay is caused by sugars, especially the type found in sugary drinks. These drinks are often acidic as well. Sugary drinks increase the risk of decay and weaken the tooth enamel, so it’s best to avoid them,” Prof Manton said.
“The best advice is to stick to tap water. Carry a water bottle with you to avoid having to buy energy drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks and other sugary drinks when you’re on the go. You’ll be doing your bank balance a favour too.”
Chair of the Public Health Committee at Cancer Council Australia, Craig Sinclair, said knowing the oral health impacts associated with sugary drinks further highlighted the need for a health levy on these beverages in Australia.
“Australians, and our young people in particular, are drinking huge volumes of sports drinks, energy drinks, soft drinks and frozen drinks on a regular basis – some are downing as much as 1.5 litres a day,” Mr Sinclair said.
“While regular consumption is associated with increased energy intake, weight gain and obesity, it also heightens the risk of tooth decay.
“We know through economic modelling that a 20 per cent health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages could reduce consumption in Australia and prevent thousands of cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke over 25 years, while generating $400-$500m each year.
“This extra revenue could be used for public education campaigns and initiatives to prevent chronic disease, reduce dental caries and address childhood obesity.
“While a health levy is not the only solution for reducing sugary drink consumption, if coupled with a range of strategies it could have a significant impact on the amount Australians are drinking and minimise their impact.”
The Rethink Sugary Drink alliance recommends the following actions in addition to a health levy to tackle sugary drink consumption:
- A public education campaign supported by Australian governments to highlight the health impacts of regular sugary drink consumption
- Restrictions by Australian governments to reduce children’s exposure to marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages, including through schools and children’s sports, events and activities
- Comprehensive mandatory restrictions by state governments on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (and increased availability of free water) in schools, government institutions, children’s sports and places frequented by children
- Development of policies by state and local governments to reduce the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages in workplaces, government institutions, health care settings, sport and recreation facilities and other public places.
Protect your teeth from sugary drinks with these tips:
- Follow the Australian dietary guidelines: Focus on drinking plenty of tap water (it has no acid, no sugar and no kilojoules), limiting sugary foods and drinks and choosing healthy snacks (e.g. fruits and vegetables).
- Find out how much sugar is in your favourite drink using the nutrition information panel on your drink or on the Rethink Sugary Drink website – it might surprise you
- Carry a water bottle and fill up at the tap, so you don’t have to buy a drink if you’re thirsty.
- Be aware of sugar disguised as a ‘healthy’ ingredient such as honey or rice syrup. It might sound wholesome but these are still sugars and can still cause decay if consumed frequently.
- If you do drink sugary drinks, use a straw so your teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid.
- Take a drink of water, preferably tap water that has been fluoridated, after a sugary or acidic drink to help rinse out your mouth and dilute the sugars.
- Do not sip a sugary or acidic drink slowly or over a long duration. Doing so exposes your teeth to sugar and acid attacks for longer.
For more information, visit http://www.dentalhealthweek.com.au/
About Rethink Sugary Drink: Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Apunipima, Australian Dental Association, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia, Healthier Workplace WA, Heart Foundation, Kidney Health Australia, LiveLighter, The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation, Nutrition Australia, Obesity Policy Coalition, Stroke Foundation, Parents’ Voice, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the YMCA to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages and encourage Australians to reduce their consumption. Visit www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au for more information.
Part 4 : Sugary drinks erode more than tooth enamel – poor oral health brings knock-on effects
This Dental Health Week the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and other members of the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance are urging Australians to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks. “Reducing sugary drinks will not only protect their teeth but also their wider health”, said Michael Moore, CEO of the PHAA. “This is yet another justification for the introduction of a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages as a preventive public health measure”, he added.
Australia is in the top ten of countries with the highest level of soft drink consumption. Around a third of Australians regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) such as soft drinks, flavoured waters and energy drinks. These drinks are widely recognised by dental experts as a major contributor to tooth decay and erosion.
Mr Moore said, “It’s well known that sugary drinks are linked to dental health problems which can lead to significant amounts of discomfort and disability in themselves. However poor oral health is also associated with major chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. Additionally, there are often compounding health effects between these types of comorbidities. Sugary drinks also strongly contribute to weight gain and obesity, so they negatively impact on health in multiple ways”.
Mr Moore continued, “At the individual-health level, it’s very important people avoid consuming these drinks on a regular basis, while at the population-health level it’s time we introduce a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce the harms they cause.”
“Research shows that a health levy on these drinks will effectively reduce their consumption, especially if implemented as part of a wider approach to address poor nutrition and diet-related disease. What is needed is a national nutrition policy, restrictions on the marketing of sugary drinks toward children, limiting their availability in schools and at events attended by children and young people and public education campaigns about the adverse health impacts of SSBs. These could easily be funded by the revenue generated by the levy”.
The theme of 2017 Dental Health Week is ‘Anywhere Anytime – Oral Health for Busy Lives’, which recognises that many Australians feel they don’t have time to properly care for their oral health due to their busy schedules. However, avoiding sugary foods and beverages which damage teeth is a simple preventive measure people can take and can be encouraged by governments.
“Along with maintaining proper oral health care, one of the easiest things people can do to protect their teeth and in turn their broader health, is to avoid sugar-laden drinks and to favour drinking tap water,” Mr Moore concluded.