When the New York City Board of Health recently announced a proposal to require preschool teachers to brush students’ teeth after meals and snacks, many people thought it was a brilliant idea - but others were left scratching their heads. How can we ask a teacher to provide this type of personal care to a student, especially when many teachers are already stretched for time, space and resources? But is this a good reason to not require this program? Here are the reasons why this proposal could - and should - work.
A recent study by the American Academy of Geriatrics has found a link between the presence of gum disease, tooth loss and frailty in senior citizens. Conducted in the United Kingdom, the study of nearly 8,000 people found that more than 60 percent of citizens over the age of 65 had some form of periodontal disease, and many more were missing more than one tooth. Another common side effect experienced by respondents was dry mouth.