Sydney Plays Host To World Pride 2023
From February 18th to March 5th, 2023 Sydney will be hosting World Pride, a party with the purpose of celebrating all things LGBTQI+.
As a queer woman I am so excited to be surrounded by my fabulous and fierce community this month. While I am very much looking forward to the host of parties and events happening in the city, it is important to remember the continuing struggles which face the queer community including the numerous health disparities. These disparities are also seen in our oral health.
The LGBTQI+ community have a higher rate of smoking and substance use; smoking increases the risk of periodontitis and decay by up to 80% and doubles the likelihood of being edentulous (no teeth remaining) after 45 years old.
LGBTQI+ people are affected by HIV at higher rates. Both HIV and HIV medications can cause negative side effects in the mouth.
Over 90% of people living with HIV will have at least one oral disease such as periodontitis (severe gum disease).
One side effect of HIV medication is dry mouth which predisposes users to decay and gum disease.
LGBTQI+ people are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition, including being nearly 6 times more likely to have depression. Depression and other mental health conditions are known to lower people’s motivation and cause disinterest in self-care which includes seeing the dentist. If this is something you are struggling with, QLife and Twenty10 are fantastic organisations supporting LGBTQI+ people.
Seeing The Dentist
The first step to better oral health is visiting a dentist. For queer people it can be uncomfortable seeing healthcare providers as we often experience stigmatisation and discrimination.
It is important to find a dentist who you feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that you do not need to disclose your sexual orientations to your dentist. You are also not required to disclose your HIV status, however, if you are comfortable, it is highly recommended as we can better treat you if we have your full medical history.
Here at iDental Surgery we openly welcome people from all gender sexual identities and respect chosen pronouns. We also have experience working with and treating people with HIV.
Okay, now we’ve covered the important stuff let’s move onto the fun stuff! Here’s a few ideas to get your teeth ready and keep them healthy for all those World Pride Parties:
- Drink water after those cocktails: If you are drinking during World Pride remember that any mixers (juices, fizzy drinks, soda water) are all highly acidic and can erode teeth. The best way to prevent this is sipping water between drinks to help wash the acid and sugars off your teeth.
- Don’t forget to brush your teeth: Brushing your teeth after a great night out is probably the last thing on your mind but water can only work so well. It is super important as we don’t want to leave those nasties on our teeth overnight.
- Get in for a check-up & clean: If it has been more than 6 months since you’ve been for a clean now is a great time. There is nothing quite like the feeling of fresh clean teeth, plus it helps eliminate bad breath if you’re planning on getting lucking the World Pride.
- Consider whitening: World Pride is a time to stand out and what better way to do this than with bright white teeth. Keep in mind, the best time to get whitening is after a clean so take advantage of our Check-Up and Clean + Whitening Special.
- Add some sparkle to your smile with tooth gems: With the amount of glitter and sparkle going around your teeth are bound to be jealous! Why not add a tooth gem or two?
From Team iD to you we hope you all have a safe and fabulous World Pride.
Written by Emily Evans
Receptionist & Dental Assistant
LGBTIQ + Health Australia Member