Westmead Centre for Oral Health protect the teeth of western Sydney with a sprinkle of tooth fairy dust and a side of toothpaste

Patients, carers and staff across the Western Sydney Local Health District were encouraged to “Love Your Teeth” this week for Dental Health Week 2022.

Dental Health Week takes place each year in the first full week of August and is a major oral health campaign of the Australian Dental Association (ADA).

Throughout the week, the Westmead Centre for Oral Health team has been spreading the message to “take care of your mouth to help keep your teeth and smile for life”.

On Tuesday 2 August, Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics oral health therapist Lisa Yoo dressed up as the tooth fairy and colleague and dental assistant Maricel Plaza dressed as a molar for a visit to the children of the Coolamon Cottage Childcare Centre at Blacktown Hospital.

The ladies shared important messages of eating healthy, brushing and practiced looking and counting teeth on a model with a dental mirror.

Lisa said “it was heart-warming to see the children’s eyes sparkle with excitement, trying to be on their best behaviour” and quickly realised they were doing more than just spreading good messages.

“I heard one of the children say to their mum, “why isn’t the Tooth fairy flying in?”, and it was then that I became aware that we were potentially making lifelong memories for some children and bringing something to smile about regarding dental health,” said Lisa.

On Wednesday morning, the team held a dental stall near the Westmead Hospital food court so that people could ask questions, take dental product samples and participate in a sugar content in food guessing game. In the afternoon, Lisa dressed up again with oral health therapist Cheryl Bedford and visited various areas of the hospital including the pre-admission clinic, university clinics and the Children’s Emergency Department to continue distributing dental products and spreading the dental health week message.

“We’re all very passionate about dental health and had a really good time spreading the cheer and joy of Dental Health Week,” said Lisa.

“We also loved bringing laughter to the public and staff by handing out free toothbrush and toothpaste dressed as a Molar and Toothbrush.”

Acting general manager and head of the Education Unit of Oral Health Dr Tony Skapetis said Dental Health Week “is a good reminder to people that their mouth as a whole – their teeth and gums – need TLC in keeping with the rest of our body’s health.”

“This year the key messages include brushing and cleaning between our teeth, maintaining a low-sugar and healthy diet and remembering to put a dentist appointment into our diaries,” said Tony.

“Furthermore, the week provides all healthcare workers with an opportunity to promote better oral health among our patients and encourage everyone to take steps to “Love Your Teeth”!”

What is the best way to “Love Your Teeth”?

The Australian Dental Association recommends the following steps:

  • Brush your 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.

Learn more about the Westmead Centre for Oral Health at www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Oral-Health