This year, August 5th to 11th has been designated as Australian Dental Health Week by the Australian Dental Association.
Australian Dental Health Week is an annual event intended to bring attention to Australia’s dental health by choosing one aspect of dental health to focus on.
The ADA has chosen “How’s Your Oral Tracking?” as its theme, and that theme has two underlying questions.
First, the question is, are you on track – that is, are you taking the steps you should to ensure proper oral health?
The second question is, how are you sure that you are on track? In other words, how are you keeping track of what you actually do to ensure or improve your oral health?
At Preston Supreme Dental, we believe that both “tracks” are essential, but we’d like to add the point that these tracking issues are particularly important for two age groups, the very young and the very old.
Although the very young and old may have less hectic schedules than many of us, they also have specific issues that come with their ages that make them more susceptible to ‘losing track’ of their oral health.
Dental Health Week and Children
Dental Health Week is a great way to introduce your children to the importance of dental health.
Look on the web to see if there are any Dental Health Week events in your neighbourhood.
Or take advantage of the ADA’s Dental Health Week website and download any of the colourful, printable posters that have particular relevance to children.
Topics include dental health for children and two posters focusing on the dangers of sugary and acidic drinks like soda pop.
The online information also contains helpful hints for parents:
- Begin a child’s oral hygiene early. Brush gums even before a tooth appears.
- Spit out extra toothpaste, and don’t rinse the mouth with water.
- 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.
But the most important thing is to make sure that your children develop good dental habits at a very young age.
If you plan and track your children’s oral hygiene, you will set them on the path to better health in the future.
Teach them to brush twice a day and floss once. Keep track of their progress on a calendar, or with stars, and when they reach certain milestones, reward them with mouth-healthy gifts.
Dental Health Week and Seniors
As we age, it can become easy to let our oral hygiene and dental health slip by the wayside, and this can cause catastrophic consequences:
- Darkened teeth. The darkening can be natural, but it can also be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Dry mouth.
- Decreased sense of taste.
- Root decay.
- Gum disease.
- Tooth loss. Often caused by gum disease.
- Uneven jawbone. The result of missing teeth not being replaced.
- Thrush and denture-induced stomatitis are different manifestations of Candida albicans (a fungus).
- Oral cancer. The chance of oral cancer increases as we age, and it is most easily caught early at a dental check-up.
Besides general aging affecting the entire body, there are two main underlying issues:
Reduced regular hygiene. Many people are extremely devoted to their oral hygiene, but as they age, they become less effective at it or have less access to it.
One reason for this is reduced coordination and manual dexterity as we age, which makes brushing and flossing less effective.
Reduced access to transportation can also make it more difficult to get to a dentist’s office for regular check-ups or particular issues.
Also, in retirement, money may become tighter and insurance more limited. For these reasons, and more, regular hygiene often becomes less effective.
Memory and habits. As we age, memory and habits become less certain.
It is typical for memory problems, including dementia, to make it more difficult to track oral hygiene. In this case, a loved one or carer needs to be tasked with tracking.
Tracking oral hygiene is critical for young and old, alike, and someone needs to take care of it. The Preston Supreme Dental team is here to help!
The Preston Supreme Dental Team
At Preston Supreme Dental, our highly trained dentists are patient-centred and believe that all patients should be able to enjoy a relaxing dental experience.
We are located across Woolworths Supermarket and beside Preston Market on Murray Road, between St Georges Rd and High St, with public transportation nearby (bus stop within walking distance)!
We are conveniently situated on Murray Road, between St Georges Rd and High St, with public transportation nearby!
Avail of our GAP FREE General Check-up, Scale and Clean, X-rays and Fluoride treatment (with any health insurance) for new patients only
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
We accept Medicare Bulk Bill for eligible children
We are located at 243 Murray Road in Preston.