Say ‘Ahh’ on March 20th

March is the month to promote health!

March 14th is National No Smoking Day and it is intended to help smokers kick the habit. Why not promote this in the practice and give your patients the extra encouragement and support they need to quit? (Refresh your knowledge on the topic with Waterpik® free online CPD courses looking at current statistics or the health consequences of tobacco.)

In addition, March 20th is World Oral Health Day - an international event designed specifically to raise awareness of the importance of oral health.

This year's campaign is themed 'Say Ahh', bringing with it the notion that the mouth is a mirror to the body, reflecting both dental and general health.

Risk assessment and patient co-operation

Effective risk assessment is key for preventing and managing dental complications. This then forms the foundation for an appropriate treatment or prevention plan, taking into account the patient's general standard of oral hygiene, their daily home-care routine, their smoking habits, if they're overweight and any systematic conditions they may have, such as diabetes or heart problems. In order to obtain the necessary information and design the best plan for each individual, it's important to gain the trust and full co-operation of the patient. They will also need to be educated on the benefits of complying with the advice given, in order to ensure good long-term results. Maybe this could be the focus of your World Oral Health promotion this year?

To develop your skills and gain ideas on how to improve your risk assessments and influence patient behaviour change, make the most of the free online CPD available from Waterpik®.

Systemic and environment factors

Several systemic conditions have been associated with poor oral health, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis.1 There has also been evidence of the link between Alzheimer’s disease and poor dental health, especially for those who have suffered from the debilitating mental health condition for more than 10 years.2

As with these and many other diseases, it’s important to identify how they might affect the dental health of the patient. It is also necessary to make them aware of any possible risks of infection or other complications that may have an impact on proposed treatment, including the risk of failure. As with any kind of medical procedure, patients with a poorer general standard of health will heal slower and react slower to dental intervention. By going back to basics as part of the risk assessment and discussing the need for a healthy diet, reduced stress and an effective home care routine, you’ll be helping your patients enjoy better long-term results.

For effective home care routines that provide maximum convenience...recommend the Waterpik® Water Flosser!

  • Clinically proven to more effective at removing plaque3 and reducing gingival bleeding4 than interdental brushes
  • Is easy to use and takes just one minute a day
  • Ideal for patients with implants, veneers, crowns, orthodontic appliances and fillings

Sources

  1. Peck, C. C. (2016). Putting the mouth into health: the importance of oral health for general health. Interface Oral Health Science, 81-87.
  2. Chen C, Wu Y, Chang Y. Association between chronic periodontitis and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease: a retrospective, population-based, matched-cohort study. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. Published online August 8 2017
  3. Lyle DM, Goyal JG. Qaqish JG, Schuller R. Comparison of water flosser and interdental brush on plaque removal: a single-use pilot study. J Clin Dent 2016;27:23-26.
  4. Goyal CR, Lyle DM, Qaqish, JG, Schuller R. Comparison of water flosser and interdental brush on reduction of gingival bleeding and plaque: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Clin Dent 2016; 27:61-65.