Bupa says the latest oral health report from the Australian government has revealed an increase in untreated tooth decay amongst adults who are also visiting the dentist less frequently.
Bupa said these worrying trends have been brought to light on World Oral Health Day (20 March).
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 complement face-to-face consultations, it is concerning that many are still avoiding dental care,” said Dr Madden.
The Australian government's data has also revealed the leading cause of preventable hospitalisation in Australian children is dental diseases.
“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
Dr Madden continued, “If like many Australians, you have been consuming more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, 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!”