Part B: Oral Health Hygiene.
Dental health should be encouraged among children and their families to promote good dental hygiene practices. Therefore, dental health is included as part of our education and the care service we provide every day (Hiremath, 2011). Australia dental association formulated a policy to help the children in development of the healthy adult teeth, assist in maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing oral disease and other related diseases over their lifetime.
Australian dental association and state government health departments outlined guidelines for caring the children’s teeth. They integrated educative information and guidelines when caring for the oral health for the children. They include: providing information about brushes to children and caregivers, swish and swallow during meals, tooth friendly drinks and snacks and frequent visiting of the dentist.
The association formed the following strategies that I should accomplish as the educator to promote dental hygiene:
- Include dental hygiene in any health program.
- Availing the dental health resources like books, posters and visual aids to children to access them.
- Having interactive session with the children and teaching them the importance of Swiss and swallow after meals and having them take part in drinking of water during the day.
- Giving adequate attention to the snacks time to ensure that the tooth friendly snacks are only ingested.
- Arrange annual visits by the dental professional as part of the program to healthy teeth.
- Encourage families and children to attended clinics where dental health issues are discussed.
- Providing dental care information to families through the channels they can access like newsletters and posters.
- Proper display of posters containing the health teeth, gums and good oral hygiene.
- Striving to be the role model to the children by practicing good oral hygiene.
- Receive awareness on the dental first aid and other appropriate development opportunities on the dental care.
The following signs and symptoms should be part of my report to the parents or guardians concerning dental health: signs of tooth decay, tooth eruption (due to injury), severe pain and swelling of the tooth, child’s inability to drink cold or hot drinks due to increased tooth sensitivity (Maurer; Smith, 2013).
Improvement of the dental health hygiene, as well as reinforce nutritional status in children, I recommend the following to be included in the curriculum:
- Getting a fulltime dentist who is always available to handle the teeth cases is paramount. It will ensure that all advises as well as the management of the oral health diseases is done on time to prevent further complications.
- Allocating time for student-student learning can help them to share what they have with colleagues on matters pertaining health of the teeth.
- Rewarding a child who is able to follow instructions given can motivate others to working towards improving health.
- Families should be allocated more time in attending meetings on the oral health hygiene and organized so well that most families are able to take part in it.
- Conducting home surveillance once in a while to check if the environment where children spent most of their time is conducive for behavior change and promoting oral health hygiene.
The policies put in place to care for the children’s oral health are good and aim at improving and reinforcing health. The main goal of every profession is to see young children’s tooth grow to adulthood and free from disease and other related illnesses. Therefore, the stipulated goals (to help the children in development of the healthy adult teeth, assist in maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing oral disease and other related diseases over their lifetime) are the goals that all of us who wish to help a child develop healthily would want to achieve.
Also in every health issues to be addressed health education, health promotion and health public policies should be in cooperated to get the target results. The policies included the educators in the program to teach both the children and families on the importance and how to keep the oral hygiene. It further provide an enabling environment for the behavior change by providing safe and adequate water to the children (Having interactive session with the children and teaching them the importance of Swiss and swallow after meals and having them take part in drinking of water during the day). This not only helps them to change, but will give them the opportunity to practice what is thought.
Health public policy plays a critical role too. For example putting up legislations that outline the work of the educator, supervisor and the establishment of the curriculum to be followed is quite encouraging. It is including the family as part of the training, it doesn’t view a child as an individual but recognizes as part of a group of people who also need care.
Frances A Maurer; Claudia M Smith. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice : health for families and populations. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Saunders.
s s Hiremath. (2011). Textbook Of Preventive And Community Dentistry. Elsevier India.