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Dr Kathleen Matthews on the importance of seeing their dentist now stay-at-home restrictions are easing in NSW

14 October 2021
The Daily Advertiser, Wagga Wagga

ADA NSW Board member Dr Kathleen Matthews reminds patients of the importance of seeing their dentist now stay-at-home restrictions are easing in NSW. 

Dentists are back peering into people's mouths following the end of lockdown and are issuing a reminder for Wagga residents who may have let their dental health slip while stuck at home.

Kathleen Matthews, a dentist with the MLHD and board member for the Australian Dental Association's NSW branch, said residents may have let the boredom of lockdown take over and their pearly whites could be paying the price.

"For a lot of people lockdown might have changed their eating habits because they might have consumed more sugar, comfort food and soft drink because, let's face it, lockdown is pretty boring and you're not outdoors playing sport or doing your usual habits," Dr Matthews said.

"So Wagga dentists are really encouraging people to go back and have a check-up if they feel like their dental health is something that has been forgotten over lockdown."

She said residents should make sure their diet was low in sugar, they were brushing their teeth everyday, having regular dental checks and choosing water over soft drink.

Dentists in the Riverina were closed for everything but essential surgeries during lockdown but over the past few weeks they have restarted their usual service.

There is currently about 350 adults alone on the public dental waiting system in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, and Dr Matthew said she is expecting even more demand once the state opens up even more.

"I think our city cousins will notice it even more because their lockdown was longer but I do think demand will be quite strong and we will see people travelling to get care," she said.

"If you live in a small outlying village and you usually come into Wagga for treatment then maybe it has been a while since you were able to travel and do that ... I think we'll be seeing a lot of people like that.”

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