Each summer, in the first full week of August, the Australian Dental Association celebrates Dental Health Week.
This week is dedicated to raising the profile of dental issues in Australia. This year the week runs from the 5th to 11th, and the theme 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
True Dental Care Preston, this leads us to think about our youngest and oldest patients.
Why? Because these are the two age groups in which this focus is particularly vital. The young need help determining what track they should be on, and how to keep track of their progress.
Senior Australians need to stay on their oral hygiene track for protection, and they need to do so despite the effects age can have on the process.
For these two age groups, it is doubly important that we pay attention to make sure that good oral hygiene is practised, and good oral care is given.
Dental Health Week and children
Because oral hygiene is not an instinctive behaviour, children have to have it explained and demonstrated to them.
Dental Health Week is a great time to do this, and help children get ‘on track’ for a lifetime of great smiles and health.
Visit the Dental Health Week website for a wide range of useful information and downloads of posters containing simple information understandable by children.
Topics include general oral hygiene and posters on the dangers of highly acidic and highly sugared drinks.
The online information also contains hints for parents, to help their children get on track:
- Begin a child’s oral hygiene early. Wash gums even before teeth appear.
- Spit out extra toothpaste, and don’t rinse the mouth out.
- Limit how much toothpaste your child uses. Just a dab will do!
- Make brushing entertaining with a song, app, or video.
- Begin a child’s dental visits early. Before age one, or as soon as the first tooth erupts.
- Be positive at the dentist. Praise your child whenever you can.
- A milestone that might show your child can brush alone is their ‘pen licence’ for writing with a pen at school.
Most important, help your children develop good dental habits as they grow. “Tracking” your children’s oral hygiene will set them on the path to better oral health in the future.
Give a child something tangible to measure their progress, such as gold stars on a chart or calendar. When a child hits a milestone, reward them.
Keeping Seniors on Track
Seniors usually know what they should do, but sometimes, it is difficult for them to accomplish it.
Their years of life can mean their oral health is somewhat diminished. Furthermore, as we age, small health problems can escalate to big ones far more quickly.
According to Elderly Dental, those with gum disease are at twice the risk of developing cardiac disease or having a stroke.
If bacteria are allowed to build up in the mouth, seniors have higher chances of contracting pneumonia or diabetes.
Essentially, keeping close track of oral health in seniors is a defence against some of the diseases that threaten them.
Here are a few things to look out for:
Dry mouth can be a natural part of aging, but it can also be caused by various medications that are frequently prescribed for seniors.
Saliva is a key part of your dental health – it washes debris from the mouth, fights bacteria, and slows decay. Loss of saliva can be a subtle threat to your health.
Gum disease is a threat at any age, but for seniors, the danger increases.
Studies have linked bacteria and gum disease to pneumonia, heart disease, and diabetes, all illnesses of great concern to older patients.
Gum disease is also the main cause of tooth loss in seniors.
Oral cancer rates increase as we age, and dental visits are the best place to spot it early. This means skipping dental checkups is additionally dangerous – even for seniors who have no teeth!
Seniors must keep close track of their dental habits, and if they cannot do so, their loved ones should do it for them. At True Dental Care Preston, we’re here to help in any way we can!
True Dental Care Preston for your Dental Health
True Dental Care Preston is based on a passion for healthy, stunning smiles. Our team is Australian trained dentists, a prosthetist, and nurses.
We offer general dentistry, implants and cosmetic dentistry, and emergency services. We have an advanced facility with highly trained staff and cutting-edge technology.
We are located near the corner of Donovan St and Bell St, a short 25 meters from the Bell Train Station! Our convenient offices are on the ground floor.
True Dental Care Preston offers treatment options ranging from pain management to implants and Invisalign.
Call (03) 9131 5952 or visit us at 358 Bell St in Preston.