In the first full week of August each year, the Australian Dental Association declares Dental Health Week.
This year, Dental Health Week runs from the 5th to 11th.
Each year the ADA sets a topic, and this year, that topic is, “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?” a question Cardiff Dental is quite interested in.
Todays’s world won’t slow down just because we need more time, and many of us juggle our schedules daily.
One result of this can be that dental care gets put off in favour of other, more pressing activities.
It seems like it is safe to defer dental care, but then it gets put off for too long.
Strangely, though, it can be hardest for those among us who have the least formal schedules – children, the retired, and the elderly – to keep on track with our at-home oral hygiene and visits to Cardiff Dental.
Unfortunately, these are the people for whom good dental care can be most important.
The good news is that by getting them on track and keeping them on track, people of all ages can maintain their dental health.
Tracking Children’s Dental Health
Adults have to teach children about the need for and techniques of hygiene, and Dental Health Week is an excellent time for both.
Think of it as an opportunity for you to assess your children’s oral hygiene and dental health while also helping them get ‘on track’ for a lifetime of great smiles and a healthy mouth.
Check out the Dental Health Week website and download printable and colourful posters with simple information aimed at children.
Topics include children’s oral hygiene and posters on the dangers of some drinks, including highly acid and highly sugared ones.
The website also contains helpful advice for parents on to how to teach children who are learning the process of oral hygiene:
- Begin at-home oral hygiene by brushing your child’s gums.
- Don’t swallow toothpaste or rinse out the mouth with water.
- Don’t use too much toothpaste. A ‘pea-sized’ dollop is all you need.
- Make brushing entertaining with songs, videos, or smartphone apps that make it easy for your child to brush for two minutes.
- Focus on positivity when visiting the dentist. Praise your child for following instructions or acting well.
It is important that your child understands the need for oral hygiene and how to keep track of it.
To demonstrate progress to children, who often need hard evidence of success, track their progress on a chart, a calendar, or with gold stars.
When your children reach important goals or milestones, consider giving them a small reward.
As we get older, bacteria, plaque, decay, infections, and other issues with the teeth, gums, and mouth can lead to severe problems that lessen overall health.
This means that losing track and control of oral hygiene and health can lead to dire consequences.
Before we look at why seniors may lose track of their oral hygiene, let’s look at some conditions that become more serious as we age:
Darkened teeth – Can be cosmetic, can reflect a serious problem
Dry mouth – Aging and some medications reduce saliva which rinses the mouth and fights bacteria and decay
Root decay – Gum recession exposes roots, acid has access to them; pain and decay can follow
Gum disease – Due to aging and poor oral hygiene
Tooth loss – The leading cause is gum disease
Uneven jawbone – Caused by tooth loss
Denture-induced stomatitis – Caused by poor oral hygiene, poorly-fitting dentures, or a fungus build-up of Candida albicans.
The increased threat that these problems represent is caused by a combination of changed realities that come into play as we age.
Reduced hygiene effectiveness. Dexterity limitations associated with aging can make brushing and flossing more difficult and less effective.
This creates an opportunity for gum disease and decay. Loss of insurance or wages can bring economic issues to dental care that previously didn’t exist.
Bluntly, it becomes more difficult to pay for dental care. Finally, reduced ability to access transportation can make ‘routine’ visits to Cardiff Dental more difficult.
Common memory problems of old age, such as dementia, can make it more challenging to track oral hygiene.
These memory-related diseases can also come with physical limitations that make oral hygiene more difficult.
For these reasons, seniors and retirees should keep close track of their dental habits, and if they cannot do so, their loved ones or caregivers must do it for them.
Cardiff Dental is:
- A comprehensive implant, cosmetic, and family dentist
- A local family-owned and family-run dental practice
- You have the option of seeing the same dentist every time
- Available to treat painful conditions on the same day
- One of the handful of dental practices that are accredited by QIP (Quality Innovative Performance) for meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
6-monthly FREE check-up for kids under 18 years of age
Bulk billing for children who are eligible for dental treatments through Medicare
Up to $1000 worth of dental treatments over two years
Call us on (02) 4954 6888 or visit us at 434B Kelton St in Cardiff.
We look forward to seeing you soon.