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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin April 2011
14 APRIL 2011 Oral Health Committee ...so much more than DENTAL HEALTH WEEK committee report Most ADA members are aware of Dental Health Week held annually in August. However, the ADA’s Oral Health Committee works throughout the year on many other projects. We thought it worthwhile to update you, the members who we represent, on some of the exciting activities planned for 2011. MOUTHGUARd AWAREnESS CAMPAIGn This annual campaign launched in March aims to remind the public about the importance of wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard during sport matches and training (see page 23). It is timed deliberately to coincide with the commencement of winter sports, which include some of the most popular and risky sports for dental injuries. The components of this year’s mouthguard public awareness campaign included the following: • A poster was included in the March issue of the ADA News Bulletin to display in your surgery. This featured the catchy title ‘Improve your family photos. Wear a mouthguard.’ This poster concept has been well received by dentists and members of the public who noticed the goofy father with a missing incisor and remembered the important message. • A media release was distributed to promote the message nationally to a wider audience. The media release was entitled ‘Research magnifies importance of Mouthguard message: Make mouthguards mandatory’. Our Federal President, Dr Shane Fryer, was the media spokesperson for this media release. • A dedicated website was established to assist the public to gain information about mouthguards www.mouthguardawareness. info On the website there are three information sheets to provide useful advice to the community. These cover the following topics: • Why wear a mouthguard? • Which type of mouthguard shall I wear? • First aid for a damaged tooth I would encourage all dentists to visit the website and to actively promote within your practices, the use of custom-fitted mouthguards by your patients. TOOTH WHITEnInG: THE fACTS The next public awareness campaign for the year will aim to de-mystify the range of tooth whitening options which now face the public. The Oral Health Committee decided to run this campaign in response to feedback from the public and our members. It has seen the misinformation being publicised and saw the need to educate the public as to the dangers of teeth whitening. The aim of the campaign will be to educate the public about the options now available, including over-the-counter products, whitening by non- dental persons, e.g., beauticians, hairdressers, booths in shopping centres, and professional whitening by registered dental practitioners. The key messages will include the importance of diagnosis by a dentist to ensure a patient’s suitability for tooth whitening as well as the need for tooth whitening to be provided by qualified dental practitioners. Key elements of the campaign will include a poster, fact sheets and information on the website. The committee is currently finalising the details of this campaign. AdA dEnTAL HEALTH WEEK 2011 Held annually, this year’s campaign will be from 1 to 7 August. I urge you to enter these dates into your appointment book now, so that you can plan your own participation. The focus this year will move away from teeth, just a little bit. We will look at what is in a person’s mouth. The approach is a little more quirky than usual but it opens the way to explore all sorts of lifestyle habits, including smoking, diet, bottled water, oral piercings and other things that people put in their mouths! The campaign will also look at oral cancer and other oral pathologies. Look out for articles in the June, July and August issues of the News Bulletin. Experts in our profession will be contributing to our understanding of some of the topics mentioned above. I hope these articles will encourage you to talk to your patients about their oral health, not only during ADA Dental Health Week. Our dental patients look to us as experts on oral health and we are one of their main sources of information and advice. I would encourage dentists to take the opportunity during dental appointments to promote good oral health messages – our patients deserve this. Some of our members have questioned why the ADA continues to run a Dental Health Week campaign year after year. Some believe the concept is old and tired. However, enthusiasm from the public and from the media would indicate that this is not the case at all. The public certainly embraces ADA’s awareness campaigns, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our website and download our information sheets, etc. The ADA office is flooded with requests for resources from schools, sporting groups and individuals throughout our campaigns and beyond. ADA has established itself as an authority on oral health, making it the first contact for the media when dental issues arise. So, it would seem that there is justification for ADA to continue oral health promotions such as Dental Health Week. It would be a simplistic view to believe the success of our campaigns could be measured merely by an increase in demand for dental visits.
ADA News Bulletin March 2011
ADA News Bulletin May 2011