Australia's Oral Health Tracker redefines their view of oral health

01 May 2018 Healthcare

A national oral health report card released by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) and Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University revealed that more than 90% of Australian adults have experienced decay in their permanent teeth.

Tracking a country’s oral health

Australia’s Oral Health Tracker found that:

  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australia
  • Three out of four children and young people are consuming too much sugar
  • Only 51% of Australian adults brush their teeth the recommended twice a day
  • Risky drinking and smoking contribute to poor oral health

Toothbrushing in Australia

"The evidence shows that one-third of Australia’s five to six-year-olds have had decay in their baby teeth. This is an unacceptably high rate and puts these children at risk of poor oral health in their development and adult years."
Dr Hugo Sachs, ADA Federal President 

Australia’s Oral Health Tracker are national report cards which detail the current state of Australians’ oral health. These report cards (adults and children and young people) look at oral health in relation to risk factors, oral disease and adverse health outcomes.

Australia’s Oral Health Tracker has been developed by the country’s leading dental academics, researchers, clinicians, policy and public health experts. It sets targets for improving the oral health of children, young people and adults by the year 2025 – aligned with the World Health Organization’s targets for global prevention and reduction in chronic diseases.

"Poor oral health in childhood is a predictor of disease in adulthood. Australia needs to recognize that oral healthcare is part of good healthcare, and that access to dental care is a significant contributor to good oral and physical health."
Dr Hugo Sachs, ADA Federal President

Taking it globally

Following the adoption of an oral health definition by the General Assembly in 2016, FDI continues to work toward the development of an oral health measurement tool. The aim is to have a set of oral health measures that can be applied in routine clinical settings to monitor oral health outcomes, and which will fit within the FDI oral health definition and its underpinning theoretical framework.

The framework comprises of three core elements of oral health: physiological status, psycho-social function, and disease and condition status. It also includes moderating factors and driving determinants, defined as factors that affect oral health, such as genetic and biological factors, social environment, physical environment, health behaviours, and access to - and utilization of - care.

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