In the first full week of August, the Australian Dental Association, and all of Australia, recognises Dental Health Week.
This year the week is from the 5th to the 11th.
The week is dedicated to various oral health ideas that might help Australians maximise their dental health. Of course, is on board that effort!
This year’s theme is “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?” which is two questions in one.
The first question is, what is the state of your oral health, and the second is how are you keeping tabs on it?
Both questions are important. In this busy world, it is easy to lose track of details like oral hygiene and dental visits.
Keeping track of oral hygiene can be particularly tricky for two age groups – children and seniors. And for these folks, proper dental care can be most valuable.
The good news is that by getting them on track or keeping them on track, everyone can maintain their dental health.
Dental Health Week and Children
Children, not surprisingly, are not naturally skilled at oral hygiene. We have to introduce the idea to them.
Dental Health Week is a great way to do this introduction. Search the web to see if any events are taking place in your neighbourhood.
Or, visit the ADA’s Dental Health Week website and download the attractive, printable posters with particular importance for children.
Topics include general dental health and two posters highlighting the dangers of drinks, like soda pop, containing high levels of acid and sugar.
Three-quarters of young adults consume too much sugar, so it’s never too early to make them aware of its threat.
The information on the website also contains useful tips for adults who are raising children:
- A dab of toothpaste is enough.
- Spit out excess toothpaste, and don’t rinse your child’s mouth.
- Brushing can be fun if you spruce it up with songs or videos on a smartphone.
- Kids love positive reinforcement. Always praise your child for their oral hygiene accomplishments.
- Bring your children to the dentist early – by one-year-old or when a tooth erupts.
- Flossing should begin as soon as multiple teeth are present.
By planning and tracking your children’s oral hygiene, you set them on the path to a lifetime of better health. Be sure your children develop good dental habits from the start.
The Senior Track
Dental problems of seniors are common, and because oral health directly impacts overall health, these issues need to be taken seriously.
Our bodies become more vulnerable as we age and oral problems that were once insignificant can escalate into something much more.
It becomes easier to lose control of your oral hygiene and dental health, and this can lead to unfortunate consequences.
Here are some things to keep track of:
- Darkened teeth, caused by aging and staining.
- Dry mouth, due to reduced saliva flow. This can be a result of some cancer treatments, diseases, and medical side effects. It can also be a result of aging. Saliva rinses the mouth and protects teeth from decay and cavities.
- Root decay – When gums recede, tooth roots are exposed to acids that cause decay.
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause.
- Uneven jawbone, caused by tooth loss.
- Denture-induced stomatitis – Caused by ill-fitting dentures, poor oral hygiene, or a fungus build-up of Candida albicans (The fungus that causes Thrush).
- Oral lesions.
Any of these problems should mean a quick trip to the dentist. And even seniors without teeth should visit Main Beach Dental regularly.
Why? Because the risk of oral cancer increases with age (with teeth or without!) and it is most effectively caught early by dental exams.
The other issue with these kinds of oral problems is that they are linked to other issues.
Gum disease, for instance, is linked to heart disease, while bacteria build-up is linked to pneumonia and diabetes.
The importance of reliable tracking for seniors is amplified because their habits are adversely affected by:
- Decreased coordination and manual dexterity
- Reduced income leading to fewer dental visits
- Reduced transportation options leading to fewer dental visits
- Decreased memory makes good oral habits harder to maintain.
For all of these reasons, seniors should keep close track of their dental habits, and if they cannot do so, their loved ones do it for them.
Take advantage of this Dental Health Week to be sure that all your oral hygiene habits are on track.
Dental Care at Main Beach Dental
Main Beach Dental’s number one priority is your dental health.
Our team is comprised of highly trained registered dentists with demonstrated clinical skills, who work together to provide you with comprehensive dental services.
We provide gentle, skilled care for all dental conditions and work with you to prevent disease, decay, and too many dental appointments in the future.
Our commitment to our patients is dental health for a lifetime!
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