In August of every year, the Australian Dental Association and all of Australia celebrate Dental Health Week.
This year, Dental Health Week will be from the 5th to 11th.
Every year a different theme is chosen for the week – previous topics have included oral health and sport, oral health in general, oral health and sugar, and oral health and diet.
This year’s topic is a bit more general – “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?”
At Captivate Dental, this immediately makes us think about our youngest and oldest patients, and in this blog post, we’re going to tell you why.
Everyone knows that we live in a hustle-bustle world, with many of us juggling our daily lives.
And one consequence of that is that dental care can be deferred in favour of other activities.
However, it is one of the ironies of tracking dental care that it can be hardest for those among us who have the least formal schedules – children, the retired, and the elderly.
And these are the people for whom which good 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.
Keeping children on track
Dental Health Week is a great time to introduce younger people to the importance of oral hygiene.
One great feature of the week is a group of colourful online posters addressing issues such as the risks that accompany sugary and acidic drinks like soda pop.
This is particularly important because three-quarters of young people (14-18 years) consume too much sugar.
The information on the website also contains helpful hints for parents who are dealing with very young children:
- Spit out excess toothpaste, and don’t rinse your child’s mouth.
- A little toothpaste is a lot. A ‘pea-sized’ dollop is all you need.
- Brushing can be fun if you liven it up with songs or videos on a smartphone.
- Honey works better than vinegar. Always praise your child for their oral hygiene accomplishments.
- Bring your children to the dentist early, certainly by one year of age
- Brushing and flossing should begin as soon as multiple teeth are present.
- If your child has their ‘pen licence’ for writing with a pen at school, they can probably brush on their own.
If you model good behaviour and you plan, track, and reward your children’s oral hygiene, you will set them on the path to better health in the future.
Keep track of their progress on a calendar, or with stars, and when they reach certain milestones, reward them with mouth-healthy gifts.
Children model off their parents, and if you keep track of your dental status, they will also do it.
Our bodies become more vulnerable as we age and oral problems that were once minor can quickly blow up into something much more.
Ageing also makes oral hygiene more difficult, lack of dental insurance can cause economic issues, and increased memory issues can also have a negative impact.
It can be easy for an elderly patient to lose control of their oral hygiene and dental health, and this can lead to catastrophic consequences. Here are some things that must be tracked:
Dry mouth: A drier mouth is a natural thing as we age, and many medications (seniors tend to take more medications) inhibit saliva production.
Unfortunately, saliva is part of our first line of defence against bacteria and tooth decay.
Gum disease: Studies have shown a link between gum disease and heart disease, while raised bacteria levels have been linked to pneumonia and diabetes.
Regular hygiene: Regular hygiene, even in people who have been conscientious about brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist, can suffer as we age.
Habits change, manual dexterity decreases, and memories become less certain. In some cases, it is more challenging to drive to a dental appointment or afford treatment.
Every senior should be aware of these challenges, and every relative or friend of a senior should be tracking them as well.
Oral cancer: Rates of oral cancer increase as we age, so regular dental check-ups become even more critical.
Memory: Memory issues like dementia make it harder to keep track of oral hygiene. In these cases, it is vital to have a family member or other carer available to keep track.
Complete Care at Captivate Dental!
Captivate Dental is in Moorabbin near Brighton (near Kingston City Hall and Moorabbin Station), offering the best quality care and enabling patients to make informed choices.
Our devoted and skilled staff gives value in outstanding diagnostic skills and efficient use of the best quality materials.
Captivate Dental offers a wide variety of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatment for patients of all ages!
We offer Saturday hours as well as late visits on Wednesday (by appointment only) for our patients with full schedules.
GAP FREE Promotions for our New Patients
No Gap Initial Examination, Clean, Fluoride treatment and 2x X-rays for all Private Health Insurance Dental coverage.
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
Call us on (03) 9553 1249 or visit us at 46 Station Street in Moorabbin.