As the beginning of August rolls around, Thornton Dental would like to remind our community that the second full week of the month (5th-11th) is Australia’s Dental Health Week.
Dental Health Week is dedicated to the idea that all Australians should pay just a little more attention to their oral hygiene and dental health.
This year’s theme is the question – “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?” This question is a two-parter.
The first question is, what is the condition of your oral health? The second question is, how are you monitoring your oral hygiene?
At Thornton Dental we know that these questions are particularly important for two particular age groups – the young and the elderly.
At first blush, these age groups might seem to have more time to take care of their oral health than working adults or parents.
And time might not be a big issue, but these groups face challenges specific to their ages.
Dental Health Week and Children
Children come into the world with no set habits, and it is up to us as adults to teach them what they should do, including the steps of oral hygiene and dental care.
Concerning this education, Dental Health Week is a great way to talk to children about oral hygiene and its relationship to dental health.
During this week, take a peek at the web and see if any dental-themed events are happening near you.
Or, visit the Dental Health Week website to find educational materials and entertaining, informative posters, some of which have been designed to instruct children about various oral hygiene practices and threats to their dental health.
The information on the websites also contains great hints for adults trying to teach children:
- Introduce oral hygiene to your child by cleaning their gums before any teeth are present. Use a special toothbrush or washcloth.
- Spit extra toothpaste out, and don’t rinse with water.
- Don’t use excessive toothpaste.
- Make brushing amusing! Play a song, video, or use an appropriate smartphone app to keep your child brushing for two minutes.
- Introduce the dental office early. Your child should visit Thornton Dental by age one, or when the first tooth comes in.
- Use affirmative language at the dental office, praising your child’s patience, listening skills, and ability to follow instruction.
- If your child has their pen licence at school? They can probably move on to brushing by themselves.
Dental Health Week is a great chance to begin to ensure your children develop good dental habits and learn to keep track of them.
You can kick that off by tracking them yourselves – set goals and then use a chart, gold stars, or calendar to record them.
When your kids meet the goals you have set, reward them with a small gift that is good for them.
The Senior Track
Seniors have spent a lifetime learning what they should do to maintain oral health. If they’ve had good oral hygiene practices up until now, those practices will probably continue.
The problem is that it even perfect practices can become more complicated with age. As we age, oral problems can escalate to general-health issues, even potentially lethal ones.
Gum disease, for instance, is linked to heart problems, while oral bacteria is linked to diabetes and pneumonia.
There is a long list of things seniors should be keeping track of, including:
- Tooth colour
- Dry mouth
- Root feeling
- Tooth loss
- Uneven jawbone
- Denture-induced stomatitis
- Oral lesions
Why must tracking be so precise?
As we age, we lose some of the ability to perform our oral hygiene and dental care practices. Even patients who excel in oral hygiene can get off track.
Dexterity limitations related to aging can make brushing and flossing more difficult and less effective.
At the same time, reduced wages and changes in dental insurance can bring an increased economic burden to retirees that make dental visits more problematic.
The same is true of reduced access to transportation. Finally, memory issues such as dementia can make it very difficult to stick to an oral hygiene schedule, and some memory problems come with physical limitations as well.
If seniors 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, Thornton Dental is happy to help you “get on track”!
Why Choose Thornton Dental?
We make dentistry affordable, without sacrificing quality.
- We focus on patient care
- Outstanding infection control
- Friendly, approachable, and experienced team
- Child-friendly and relaxing environment
- Patient comfort, safety, and satisfaction are our primary goals
- Customised care designed to your specific needs
- Integrity, high standards, premium quality materials
- Anxiety control and pain management
New Patients Promotions
Pay No Gap: No Gap for dental check-up, clean, fluoride & 2 x-rays (with any health insurance)
No Health Insurance: Only $145 ($95 for kids) for Check-up, Clean & Fluoride
We are located at 9/1 Taylor Ave in Thornton.