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Show Mom that you really care

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Covering the costs of dental treatment for your mother is one way to surprise her on Mothers Day (Sam Moghadam Khamseh - Unsplash)

By: Asooc Prof Dr Azwatee Abdul Aziz, Dr Zubaidah Zanul Abidin, Assoc Prof Dr Lim Ghee Seong.

As we celebrate Mothers’ Day, many of us are considering how to express our gratitude for the incredible women who have shaped our lives. It’s a perfect time to reflect on the unwavering love and care our mothers have given us throughout the years. While traditional gifts like flowers or chocolates are lovely, why not consider something a bit more practical and meaningful?

One often-overlooked area where moms could use support is in dental care expenses. It may not have crossed our mind this one area that mothers need support most. Dental care is often overlooked but plays a significant role in maintaining overall health and quality of life, especially for aging parents.

As they age, oral health becomes increasingly important, as dental issues can have an impact on their ability to eat, speak, and socialize comfortably. In addition, poor oral health has been associated with various systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections, thus underscoring the link of oral and overall health.

Nonetheless, as they grow older, they should be given adequate attention towards ensuring that they receive proper dental treatment. However, managing their dental expenses may pose challenges, often requiring delicate balance between financial considerations and their healthcare needs. From routine check-ups to unexpected dental emergencies, the costs can sometimes be a burden. This Mother’s Day, showing your mom how much you care could involve helping out with these expenses.

In Malaysia, a complete denture may cost within RM100 in government clinics to thousands of ringgit in private clinics. A simple filling cost only RM2 in government clinics, and may rise to hundreds of ringgit in private clinics. Malaysian government make it obvious that everyone deserves affordable dental treatment regardless of their age or employment status, yet many parents face barriers to accessing affordable treatment.

Retirement often brings a loss of dental insurance coverage, leaving parents to shoulder the full cost of dental services in private clinics or longer waiting time in government clinics. Additionally, fixed incomes and limited savings can make it challenging to afford even for routine dental check-ups and necessary subsequent treatments. As a result, many parents may delay or forgo dental care altogether, thus risking their oral health and overall well-being.

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining oral health. Consider gifting your mom a voucher or paying directly for her next dental appointment.

If your mom needs more extensive dental work, such as fillings, crowns, or even implant treatment, offering financial assistance can make a significant difference.

If your mom doesn’t already have dental insurance, consider helping her enrol in a plan that fits her needs and budget. Dental insurance can help offset the costs of routine care as well as unexpected procedures.

Encouraging preventive care is also important by reminding your mom of the importance of preventive care, such as daily brushing and flossing, as well as maintaining a healthy diet. These habits can help reduce the need for costly dental treatments down the road.

Besides giving financial support, offering emotional support and encouragement can also be invaluable. Going to the dentist can be anxiety-inducing for some people, so offering to accompany your mom to her appointments or simply being there to listen can make a big difference.

This Mothers’ Day let’s show our appreciation for everything our mothers have done for us. Instead of just giving your mom a gift, consider giving her the gift of improved oral health and peace of mind. Whether it’s covering the cost of a dental check-up or simply offering a listening ear, your support can show your mom just how much you care.

After all, a healthy smile is a gift that truly lasts a lifetime.

The authors are from the Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya.

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