Once again, as August comes upon us, it’s time for Australia to celebrate Australia’s Dental Health Week, a week sponsored by the Australian Dental Association.
Each year, Dental Health Week chooses a dental topic and attempts to bring it into the public light.
This year’s topic has to do with how to keep up on your good oral hygiene habits, coming with the theme of, “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?”
At Deer Park Dental Surgery, we know that keeping track of your oral health is key.
Keeping track of how often you brush and floss and making sure you have regular visits to our office, are key aspects of keeping your smile strong, healthy, attractive, and effective.
But, for some groups, staying on track with dental health may be more difficult. These groups include the young, young adults, the retired, and particularly the elderly.
Let’s look at what we mean here!
Tracking Children’s Dental Health
Children have to be taught about oral hygiene, and Dental Health Week is an excellent time for you to take stock of your children’s oral hygiene and dental health while also helping them get ‘on track’ for a lifetime of great dental health.
Take advantage of the Dental Health Week website to download printable and colourful posters that contain simple information helpful for children.
Topics include oral hygiene for children and posters talking about the dangers of some drinks, including highly acid and highly sugared ones.
This is particularly important as studies show that 73% of Australian children consume too much sugar.
Sugar is the primary food for bacteria, which lead to tooth decay and controlling sugar intake and knowing how to deal with sugary food is critical to oral and general health.
The information also contains helpful hints for parents who are raising children:
- 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.
- Visit the dentist early, as soon as the first tooth comes in or the first birthday.
- Focus on positivity when visiting the dentist. Praise your child for following instructions or acting well.
Be sure that your children develop good dental habits from the start. By planning and tracking your children’s oral hygiene, you set them on the path to a lifetime of better health.
Keeping seniors on track
As we age, the ability of our body to fight back begins to weaken. Bacteria growth, infection, and decay of the mouth, teeth and gums can become more severe problems.
Problems that arise as minor issues in the mouth can quickly escalate to general-health issues, even potentially lethal ones.
Losing control of your oral hygiene and dental health can lead to problems:
Dry Mouth. While dry mouth is often part of natural aging, it can be worsened by a variety of medications that are commonly given to older patients.
The resulting reduction in saliva production is dangerous because saliva rinses out the mouth, protects against tooth decay, and fights bacterial growth.
Gum disease. Studies have linked gum disease heart disease. An increase in bacteria has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes and pneumonia.
These are all health problems that disproportionately affect older people.
Oral cancer. Even if there are economic or practical issues getting to a dentist, it is critical to do so.
Oral cancer rates rise as we age and dental visits are by far the best way for early detection, even for patients with dentures or no teeth.
Reduced hygiene. In many ways, this is the problem that underlies the issues mentioned above. Even patients who keep up their oral hygiene can get off track.
As we age, our habits and abilities change. This can throw our oral hygiene off. Dexterity problems associated with aging can make brushing and flossing more difficult and less effective.
Loss of wages or insurance can bring new economic issues to dental care, and reduced ability to travel can make ‘routine’ dental visits much harder.
Finally, memory issues such as dementia can make it very difficult to stick to an oral hygiene schedule.
If older people cannot keep complete track of their oral hygiene, it is up to loved ones or carers to do it for them.
If you have questions, Deer Park Dental Surgery is happy to help you “get on track”!
The Deer Park Dental Surgery Difference
Deer Park Dental Surgery gives outstanding patient care and customer service to the growing community in Deer Park and its region.
Our location is convenient – we are located in a busy medical centre in Brimbank Shopping Centre. We are also open on Saturdays to cater to your family needs.
Parking is hassle-free.
GAP FREE Promotions for our New Patients
Child Dental Benefit Schedule
We accept Medicare Bulk Bill for eligible children
To book an appointment, call us on (03) 9360 4417. We are located at T097a Brimbank Shopping Centre Neale Road in Deer Park.