Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day is observed every year on November 9 in the United States. This day aims to bring awareness to the importance of oral health for elders living in long-term care and seeks to kick-start the conversation on how poor dental hygiene affects aging adults’ quality of life, especially when they find themselves in nursing homes. Showing that we care about their oral wellbeing is important, as it makes them feel seen and heard and many sicknesses and systemic diseases are linked to poor dental care that affects vulnerable communities, like senior citizens.
History of Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day
Sonya and her husband Gerald Dunbar, both valiant Navy Veterans, are the owners of Mobile Dental Xpress, an entity that prides itself on providing onsite dental care for senior citizens in nursing homes. Their efforts focus on helping elders achieve a better quality of life through improved oral hygiene habits, and on spreading awareness on the topic.
Through her work, Sonya realized that many aging adults in long-term care facilities cannot address their oral care and depend on caregivers to do it for them every day. As a highly-skilled Registered Dental Hygienist with over 25 years of dental experience, she made it one of her goals to help provide quality dental services and educate anyone willing to lend an ear on this issue.
So, using her never-ending wits and her ‘dental influencer’ powers, in 2020 she created Geriatric Toothfairy Day, a day set to shine a light on the topic and cast an S.O.S. signal to help our seniors and prevent them from becoming sick due to poor oral hygiene. As many long-term care residents do not receive proper oral care, simple actions like daily tooth brushing and flossing can make a huge difference. This day brings much-needed awareness to the oral health of senior citizens in nursing homes, a topic not talked about often enough in mainstream media.
Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day timeline
Alabama leads the way by passing the first dental practice act in the United States.
Freeman becomes the first African American to earn a Dental Degree in the U.S.
Dr. Washington Sheffield develops the first toothpaste in a tube.
The AMTA is founded to provide oral health for patients in a mobile or virtual healthcare setting.
Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day FAQs
Who was the first-ever dentist?
It is believed that a man by the name of Hesy-Re, an Egyptian scribe, was the first known dentist around 2600 B.C.
Why is it called a dentist?
The term dentistry comes from the French and Latin word ‘dentiste.’
How was it like to brush your teeth in ancient times?
To clean the surface of their teeth, ancient cultures often used to chew sticks made from the Salvadora persica tree.
How to Observe Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day
Say thank you to a dentist
This day is an opportunity to show your appreciation to your dentist. So, send a card or give them a call. Maybe even get some flowers.
This day is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of the oral health of elderly people. Spread the word on your social media.
Donate to care facilities
Another way to get involved is by donating new toothbrushes and pastes to care facilities. It’ll work like a charm to encourage oral health care.
5 Habits To Take Care Of Your Teeth
It is important to floss your teeth at least once every day, as it removes small traces of food hiding on the tooth and the gums.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush is essential to keep a healthy mouth.
It is advisable to use fluoride since it helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay.
If you have a healthy diet, you are less likely to get gum disease.
Another piece of advice is to avoid sweets and sweetened drinks.
Why Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day is Important
It is a day to raise awareness
The purpose of this day is to shine a light on the importance of taking care of your oral health. Moreover, it shows us the importance of oral hygiene in aging adults living in long-term care.
It is a day to address diseases
Many sicknesses and diseases are linked to poor oral care. Thus, raising awareness of dental health is crucial.
It is a day to try new healthy habits
This day is also an opportunity to incorporate healthy habits in terms of oral care. For example, you can start flossing every day.
Geriatric Tooth Fairy Day dates