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Smiles on wheels — Mobile Dental Care visits Bourke Schools

Oral Health Therapist Elena Petrova and Dental Technician Nicolas Collins with Summer Whitbread. Photo TWH

The recent visit by Mobile Dental Care Australia to local public schools in Bourke underscores the urgent need to address oral health disparities, particularly in rural communities.

The National Rural Health Alliance highlights the unique challenges faced by rural Australians, such as limited access to fluoridated water and higher costs for essential oral hygiene products.

Tooth decay and gum disease pose significant risks to general health and overall quality of life due to their potential for serious adverse effects.

According to a 2023 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, rural children are more likely than those living in major cities to experience visible plaque accumulation, greater rates of dental decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or missing teeth.

As remoteness increases, oral health status typically worsens, compounded by rural Australians having fewer dental practitioners available than in urban areas. This results in limited access to oral healthcare due to longer travel times and limited transport options. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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