In August, Australia recognises the Australian Dental Association’s Dental Health Week – a week dedicated to all issues surrounding dental health.
In 2019, this week falls from the 5th to 11th. Each year, a unique theme is chosen.
Previous themes have included oral health and sport, oral health for women, general oral health, oral health and sugar, and oral health and diet.
And if you are a visitor to the Forster Dental Centre website, you know that these are also topics we are also concerned about.
This year’s topic is, “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?” This means, how is your oral health doing, and how are you keeping track of your habits?
At Forster Dental Centre this leads us to think about our youngest and oldest patients.
We live in a world that won’t slow down just because we need more time. Many of us juggle our schedules daily.
One result of this can be that dental care gets deferred in favour of other activities.
It is one of the ironies of dental care that tracking can be most difficult for those among us who might seem to have the best chance to do it– children, the retired, and the elderly.
The good news is that by getting the young and old on track or keeping them on track, everyone can maintain their dental health.
Dental Health Week and Children
Children are not born with any innate oral hygiene skills – it is up to us to teach them. Dental Health Week is an opportunity to introduce your children to the importance of dental health.
Look on the web to see if Dental Health Week events are scheduled in your city, or take advantage of the ADA’s Dental Health Week website and download their colourful, printable posters that have particular relevance to children.
Subjects include general dental health for children and two posters focusing on the dangers of sugary and acidic drinks, which children seem to love.
The downloadable content also contains helpful hints for parents:
- Start oral hygiene early. You can begin by brushing a child’s gums, long before a tooth comes in.
- Be stingy with toothpaste. A blob the size of a pea is all you need.
- Make brushing fun by timing it with songs, videos, or phone apps.
- Start dental visits early. By age one or after the first tooth erupts
- Use positive reinforcement during dental visits. Praise and support is the way to go!
But the most important thing to make sure that your children develop good dental habits at an early age. Planning and tracking your children’s oral hygiene will set them on the path to better oral health in the future.
Track progress on a calendar, with stars, or on a chart and reward milestone with mouth-healthy gifts.
Dental Health Week and Seniors
Our bodies become less robust as we age. Consequently, decay, infection, and bacteria that damage teeth, gums and mouth can become serious problems that impact overall health.
It becomes easy to lose control of your oral hygiene and dental health, and this can lead to terrible consequences:
Dry mouth is a common feature of aging that is can be made worse by some medications that older patients often take. A dry mouth inhibits saliva production, and saliva protects against tooth decay and controls bacteria. It is necessary to keep track of this.
Gum disease. Many studies link periodontal disease with heart disease. Bacteria is also linked with a higher risk of pneumonia and diabetes.
Regular hygiene. Many conscientious seniors have stayed on top of their brushing, flossing and regular dental visits.
But age brings different habits and obstacles. Reduced dexterity can limit the effectiveness of brushing and flossing. Some seniors have more difficulty remembering their schedule.
Limited health insurance may decrease dental visits. Finally, reduced access to transportation may have a similar limiting effect.
The likelihood of oral cancer increases with age, making regular check-ups even more important. And that goes for seniors with no natural teeth and those who use a full set of dentures.
Memory problems such as dementia to make it harder to keep track of oral hygiene. In this case, a family member or carer may be required to keep track of dental health.
If you have any questions about children, the elderly, or dental tracking, Forster Dental Centre is happy to help you “get on track”!
Your Local Dentist – Forster Dental Centre
At Forster Dental Centre, we give patients the care that allows them to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for a lifetime!
We provide an extensive range of dental services from preventative dentistry to restorative dental options, not to mention the latest in cosmetic dentistry solutions for straighter and whiter teeth.
We listen to the needs and concerns of all our patients and provide you with the individual attention you and your family deserve.
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
Bulk Bill for children who are eligible for MEDICARE CHILD DENTAL BENEFIT SCHEDULE
Up to $1000 worth of dental treatments over two years
We are located at 1st Floor Forster Tower, 12 Wallis St in Forster.