Fishing Program Intro. and Helpful Tips – Quarter 2 – 2022

Welcome back! Did you know the Special Day Foundation has a free fishing program for children and adults with developmental disabilities? That’s right, free! A day out on the water with Captain Mark. Fishing equipment, licenses and bait are provided. All you have to bring is water, food, sunscreen and a great attitude for a fun day of learning about marine life and catching various species of fish.

Captain Mark

Let us introduce you to Captain Mark, The Special Day Foundation’s fishing program captain!

Captain Mark grew up right here on Anna Maria Island and due to his parents’ love of fishing, he has been enjoying the sport since he was 5 years old. If he’s not out fishing around the island, you can catch him under the water diving or on top of the water surfing. Mark has been a licensed captain for 40 years and loves that each day out on the water brings something new. Since joining the Special Day team he has been able to share these unique and memorable experiences with our program participants! His incredible knowledge of the area and the wildlife within it has made him an amazing part of this team.

For more information about the program and to submit your application for the program, please follow the link below:

In this blog we will also discuss some ways to help make caring for another person’s oral health a little easier. As always, never hesitate to reach out to us if more help is needed. Our dental hygienist would be happy to do a one-on-one visit to ensure proper home care is being maintained.

As a caregiver, you play an important role in maintaining the oral health of your patient(s). Getting staff and patients involved with routine oral care is not an easy task; brushing and flossing someone else’s teeth can be just as difficult. With patience and proper training, a healthy mouth can be accomplished. It is important to remember that our mouth and body are connected. To maintain overall health, we should begin with the area of our body that we use to nourish it, OUR MOUTH. To make life easier on your patient and staff think of the body and mouth as a gateway to one another.  A healthy mouth will help the immune system sustain a healthier body and a healthy body will aid in maintaining a healthier mouth.

Just as the bacteria in our body can cause us to not feel well, the same goes for the bacteria in our mouths. There is a direct link between bacteria and cavities, bacteria and gum health, and bacteria and bone health. According to the American Dental Association, studies have shown that the bacteria causing periodontal disease (the destruction of the bone that supports our teeth) are also linked to heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia¹. Likewise, patients that already have systemic issues such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and blood cell disorders may be at a higher risk for infection due to the body’s immune system being weaker¹. This makes keeping a healthy mouth critical in helping your patient maintain the best possible overall health. Why cause the body to work harder to stay healthy when it takes a simple remedy such as brushing and flossing?

Prevention is key when it comes to overall health. Brushing should be done at least two times a day for two minutes and flossing one time a day. Let us look at a few tips to help with daily dental care.

-#1 Rule- PATIENCE

• Pick a place where the person is comfortable. The bathroom does not always have to be the area of choice².

• Have a set routine i.e.; always after breakfast and always after dinner². Repetition helps form habits.

• Reward cooperation with praise.

• Set out all supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss picks, mirror, cup of water) to be used in front of the patient. This allows for a checklist or a way for the patient to see “The End”.

• Wherever the location is, be sure there is good light².

• Allow the patient to try brushing and flossing first. Praise their efforts.

• Try the TELL-SHOW-DO approach. Allow the patient to watch you brush and floss while you explain what you are doing².

• Be creative to allow cooperation. Example: play a favorite song or let them hold a favorite item².

Your Positioning

• If the person is in a wheelchair sit/stand behind them. If able, lock the wheels and tilt the chair back into your lap allowing for a better view in to the mouth².

• Stand behind the person or lean against a wall. Tilt the person’s head gently against your body².

Daily dental care is just as important as your patient taking their daily medications. Yes, it takes time and skill to manage behavioral and physical challenges. As a caregiver, this is your specialty. Use that expertise to make a healthy mouth and a healthy smile.

Created by: Whitney Haley, BASDH

¹Healthy mouth, healthy body | American Dental Association. (2006). 

²Dental Care Every Day: A Caregivers Guide | National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2012).

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