Dental Hygiene is Just as Important!
Let’s finish off October by mentioning it’s National Dental Hygiene Month! While it may seem rudimentary to be discussing dental care, it is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body and we hope these reminders help to keep you and your loved ones always informed. Not to mention, you’ll thank us for this reminder right when the kids are chowing down on all that Halloween candy (and all that food you’ll be devouring during the upcoming holidays!). Poor dental can even be connected back to body related issues. For instance, periodontal disease can also be linked with having a connection to diabetes and heart disease.
Below are the components of a healthy dental regimen as outlined by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA)
- Brush: Always brush twice a day, for two minutes. The two minute factor is the most important factor in helping to prevent cavities and reducing plaque
- Floss: Daily flossing helps remove plaque buildup under the gumline and between teeth. If you are having trouble getting in a habit, talk to your dentist to determine the right type of floss (coating, thickness, etc) to help see if they can get you more comfortable flossing. Here’s a link for proper technique!
- Rinse: By rinsing daily with an anti-microbial mouthwash, you can help prevent the onset of gingivitis. Be sure the wash you use carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Chew: Clinical research shows that chewing sugar-free gum after eating stimulates a very important defense against the onset of tooth decay-saliva which helps by strengthening teeth, can remineralize enamel, and wash away food particles.
Tips on Tooth brushing for Caregivers
- Where is it easiest? Brushing doesn’t need to happen at the sink, it can be done wherever it’s most convenient with a bowl, towel, and a cup of water. It’s about finding what’s most comfortable for you and your loved one.
- Use minimal toothpaste. Fluoride play an important role but the most critical aspect of brushing is the removal of plaque and food deposits. Toothpaste may have an unappealing taste to some adults and cause swallowing problems. A pea-size amount should be sufficient but be sure to talk with the dentist.
- Proper toothbrush. Be sure to consider the size of the toothbrush. A larger toothbrush may help with maneuverability and be sure to choose one with soft bristles.
- Position. If you loved one is in a wheelchair, it could be easier to stand behind them if by a sink. If not, then knelling directly in front may be the easiest.
- Brush gently. You may want to swipe between the folds by the cheeks where food builds up with a gloved finger or a swab.
Check out Wisdom Tooth for more tips on dental care and resources for older adults!
Helping Out a Friend!
A fundraiser we would like to highlight for this special month is a fundraiser set up by one of GiveForward’s very own, Lauren, for her friend Tessa Auza, both whom are very involved in Chicago’s swing dancing scene. It’s titled Keep Tessa Smiling and if you haven’t gotten a chance to see it, please take a look as it’s filled with awesome support. Recently, Tessa found out she needed to get dental work immediately done to help prevent infections, headaches, and any future issues. When Tessa’s good friend Lauren found out her friend needed help, she jumped online and did what any great friend would, start a support system for all of Tessa’s loved one’s and those in the awesome swing dance world to come together and help their friend.