Well, here we are, a month since my last posting, still sheltering in place. We are all struggling to "keep it together" and find the silver lining in all this. The goal with this post is to avoid the future of silver either in or on our teeth. ;-)
I am attaching a copy of an excellent list the California Dental Hygienists' Association put together. Though we are unable to get preventive dental hygiene care for a couple more months, it becomes even more important to pay close attention to our oral health. My recommendation would be to open this list and work accomplishing all these items.
As I write, I just had an idea. There are 10 Dental Hygiene Tips on this list. Check off the ones you already complete on a regular basis. Then strive to add one more item regularly to your daily routine each week. If you have a family, partner, or roommates, you can create something fun. We have to admit, we need to make things fun at this time. What else can we do? At any rate, back to the list.
Create a calendar or use an existing one if you still have a hanging calendar at home. Assign everyone a pen or highlighter color, use stamps, initials, whatever you need to give everyone their own signature on the calendar. As you complete the "Oral Hygiene Tip of the Week" each day. add your mark to the calendar. At the end of a time you decide on as a group, winner gets a prize.
I recommend this game for families with kids, but we all need incentive right now, and prized can be 'age appropriate". I think of easy stuff - choosing the topping on the Friday night pizza, which movie to watch, which walk to take together, no dish duty, no garbage duty - you get the picture.
We can all use a little diversion from business as usual. I hope adding a little oral hygiene challenge to your week can help make this mundane activity fun, and may even prove to reduce the nagging. "Did you brush your teeth?"
For those of you who have children, the American Dental Association has a series of videos each about 2 minutes long, that you can start and run as hour child cleans their teeth. Again, designed to decrease the nagging and help us to spend more time on our oral health .
I hope you enjoy this adventure in oral health. All dental care providers hope to be able to get back to taking for your oral health soon, but until then, help us out. We want to praise your home care when we see you next.
Elena Francisco, RDHAP, MS has been practicing dental hygiene for over 40 years and has been an RDHAP since 2005.