Lifting the Lip to halt tooth decay

Lift the lip oral health program

Queensland’s Chief Dental Officer Dr Mark Brown helps launch the Lift the Lip oral health program.

More than half of Queensland children aged between five and 15 suffer from tooth decay, but a new program launched today aims to give young Queenslanders a healthier start.

Lift the Lip is a public oral health awareness and prevention program that aims to reduce tooth decay through early intervention.

Child health nurses will be equipped with new resources so they can support families with preventive oral health advice and gain enhanced skills to recognise dental disease and refer appropriately to dental practitioners.

Speaking at the launch of the program at Browns Plains Community Centre, Queensland’s Chief Dental Officer Mark Brown said Lift the Lip would be a valuable program to address levels of early childhood tooth decay in Queensland children, which are among the worst in the country.

“Recent research showed that just over half (53%) or around 340,000 of Queensland children aged five to 15 years have had some tooth decay, and almost a quarter (23%) have four or more teeth affected by decay.

“These figures are far too high, especially when tooth decay is preventable and that dental care is free for all eligible children.”

Dr Brown said tooth decay in young children was easy to identify as it usually starts in the outer surfaces of the top front teeth.

“Screening for decay involves simply lifting the top lip and checking the outer surface of the top front teeth,” Dr Brown said.

“If we can identify tooth decay early, preventative measures can be taken to stop this decay progressing.

“This early intervention has the potential not only to save our kids’ teeth, but also reduce the need for additional and sometimes costly and complex dental procedures.

“Tooth brushing, a healthy diet and regular dental check-ups are three simple ways to avoid problems.

“The establishment of good oral hygiene and dietary habits is essential to achieving and maintaining overall physical and emotional well-being throughout life.

“The Lift the Lip program is an excellent example of a collaborative initiative, which brings oral health and general health together to give our youngest Queenslanders a great start in life,” he said.

Lift the Lip is a partnership between Metro North and Metro South Oral Health Services and Children’s Health Queensland’s Child and Youth Community Health Service. It will be introduced progressively in metropolitan areas during 2016.

Key messages for healthy teeth:

  • Brush well: Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Eat well: Eat healthy foods and reduce the intake of sugary foods to lower risk of tooth decay
  • Drink well: Drinks lots of water and limit intake of sugary drinks, for example, soft drinks, juice sports drinks and flavoured milk
  • Play well: Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports like football to prevent injury and trauma to the teeth and mouth
  • Stay well: have regular dental check-ups
2016-03-10T03:45:37+00:0010 March 2016|
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