The American Association of Dental Schools (AADS) has prepared an education packet to help older persons improve their oral health care.
With proper care, most people over 65 can maintain their teeth throughout their life; however, age-related changes and increased use of prescription drugs have placed older people at a greater risk for developing cavities than children.
Through the AADS project, copies of the oral health education packets will be distributed to 55 dental schools and 200 dental hygiene education programs nationwide. Beginning in fall 1990, the dental and dental hygiene students will give 1-hour presentations at senior centers, clubs, churches, and volunteer organizations. A special emphasis will be placed on reaching minority older persons.
Oral health information previously has not been targeted to seniors. These presentations will erase myths and describe how age-related changes affect the mouth. Senior citizens will also be alerted to specific conditions, such as "dry mouth," a prescription medication side effect that can cause tooth decay and loss.
For more information, contact Dr Richard Mumma, Executive Director, or Mercedes Bern-Klug, Director of Geriatrics, American Association of Dental Schools, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 502, Washington, DC 20036; 202-667-9433.