Once again, as August arrives, Dental Health Week comes with it. The Australian Dental Association sponsors Dental Health Week.
Each year the ADA chooses a dental topic to bring to public view. The intent is to increase public awareness of the need for oral hygiene and dental health.
This year, the week runs from August 5th to August 11th, and the topic is, “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?”
The question has two meanings. First, are you on track – meaning are you doing what you should? Second, how do you know you’re on track – meaning, how are you keeping tabs on your daily and annual oral health?
Precision Dental would like to note that these tracking issues are particularly important for two age groups, the very young and seniors.
While the very young and seniors often have less hectic schedules than many of us, they also have specific issues that come with their ages that make them more susceptible to ‘losing track’ of their oral health.
Let’s take a look!
Dental Health Week and Children
Children don’t necessarily come equipped with great hygiene habits and strong powers of concentration built-in!
This is why it is up to adults to instil these traits in them, and Dental Health Week is a great time to introduce your children to oral hygiene.
The Dental Health Week website has interesting, printable posters that have particular relevance to children.
The posters talk about dental health for children, and two posters focus on the dangers of acidic and sugary drinks like soda pop.
The information on the website also contains dental hints for parents who are dealing with very young children:
- Begin oral hygiene young! Use a washcloth on an infant’s gums to get them used to oral cleaning.
- Spit out excess toothpaste, and don’t rinse your child’s mouth.
- A little toothpaste is a lot. A dollop is all that is needed.
- Brushing can be fun if it’s livened up with songs, videos, or apps.
- Flossing should begin as soon as multiple teeth are present.
- Positive beats negative! Always praise your child for their oral hygiene accomplishments.
- Bring your children to the dentist early, no later than one year of age
- If your child has their ‘pen licence’ for writing with a pen at school, they can probably brush on their own.
The key thing is that they develop good dental habits at an early age.
Track their progress on the computer, a calendar, or with stars, so they can see how well they are doing. When they reach milestones, reward them with mouth-healthy gifts.
The Senior Track
Aging slows down our immune systems, which makes us more prone to small issues becoming more serious. This is why staying on track, in both senses, is so important for seniors.
There are a variety of conditions that might indicate that oral health is getting a bit off track:
- Darkened teeth – Can be a natural effect of aging, but can also indicate serious issues.
- Dry mouth – Saliva is necessary to rinse the mouth, battle bacteria, and fight decay.
- Root decay – As gums recede, tooth roots are exposed to acids in the mouth that can damage them.
- Gum disease – Caused by bacteria leading to plaque.
- Tooth loss – The leading cause is gum disease.
- Uneven jawbone – Caused by tooth loss.
- Denture-induced stomatitis.
And when these problems become serious, general health is easily affected.
Gum disease is linked to heart disease, and bacterial buildup is linked to pneumonia and diabetes. These are health problems that no senior wants!
Regular hygiene becomes more complicated as we age. With age, our hands become weaker and lose flexibility and mobility.
This can damage the ability to brush and floss adequately. In addition, some of us lose our access to transportation, making it challenging to get to the dentist’s office.
Finally, retirement may mean less money or less insurance, making it economically more difficult to get dental care.
Common memory problems of old age, such as dementia, can make it more difficult to track of oral hygiene. A loved one or carer may be required to help keep track in such cases. So, keep on tracking!
Dental Health at Precision Dental!
At Precision Dental, we provide the best and finest ethical care, which gives patients the chance to make informed decisions regarding their course of treatment.
The three fundamental principles that underlie the foundation of our practice are honesty, patient comfort, and quality
In support of these principles, we begin treatment by building solid relationships with our patients. We are open, honest, and non-biased. We accept no shortcuts, substandard materials, or unhappy surprises.
Patient comfort is another key aspect of our values that contribute to the dentist-patient relationship.
At Precision Dental, we know the dental experience can be overwhelming for some individuals. To alleviate these anxieties, we provide gentle, patient-oriented care that uses modern technologies, tools, and techniques.
Dr Bill Choi has over 15 years of experience and is registered with the Dental Board of Australia. He is a member of the Australian Dental Association, Australian Society of Implant Dentistry, and the Australian Association of Laser Dentistry.
We are located at S13, HQ South Tower, 520 Wickham St in Fortitude Valley.