There are lots of reasons for you to ensure your family’s teeth and gums remain healthy. It helps keep their smiles sparkling and avoids toothaches and discomfort. Research indicates that gum disease can cause numerous problems in your body, including heart disease.
There are lots of simple ways to keep your family’s teeth healthy and strong, and this article aims at guiding you on how to do it.
Start Children Early
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 25 percent of young children develop signs of tooth decay even before they start school.
Also, 50 percent of children aged between 12 and 15 have cavities. Thus, dental care should commence immediately your child’s first teeth appear, often when they are six months old. At this stage, you can clean their teeth using a very soft brush or a clean, damp cloth. At age 2, let the kids try brushing on their own. However, it is important to supervise them.
Use Sufficient Fluoride
The greatest development in oral health is the discovery of fluoride. It strengthens the enamel and makes the teeth less likely to decay. 75 percent of the people drink fluoridated water. However, if the water you drink does not contain fluoride, consult your dental practitioner who may suggest the most suitable solution for you.
Most mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste contain fluoride. But, young children should use fluoride sparingly—a pea-sized amount on the toothbrush should suffice. Too much fluoride causes white spots on the teeth.
Floss Daily and Brush Twice a Day
Tooth decay and gum disease are a big problem for people of all ages. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, 75 percent of teenagers have bleeding gums. Thus, remember:
- Change your toothbrushes three to four times annually
- Teens with braces should use specially-designed toothbrushes and oral hygiene tools to clean their teeth
- Older people who have arthritis or other medical conditions may find it difficult to hold a toothbrush or use floss. In such occasions, it may be easier to use an electric toothbrush. Others just put a foam tube or bicycle grip over the handle of an ordinary toothbrush to make it more comfortable to hold
Avoid Smoking, or Use Smokeless Tobacco
Tobacco stains the teeth and significantly increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease. So, if you smoke, it is time to quit. Also, advise your children not to start.
A healthy diet is vital for healthy teeth and gums. Thus, eat a well-balanced diet consisting of whole foods—including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. These foods give the body all the essential nutrients it requires. Also, omega-3 fats found in fish help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of gum disease.
Rinse the Mouth or Chew Gum after Every Meal
In addition to flossing and brushing, rinse your mouth using an antibacterial rinse to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals also helps protect the teeth by increasing the flow of saliva, which naturally washes off bacteria and neutralizes acids.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars into acids that can corrode the tooth enamel and initiate tooth decay. Sugary drinks, including fruit drinks and soft drinks, pose a significant threat as people sip them since they raise the acid levels in the mouth over an extended duration. Carbonated drinks also complicate the matter because carbonation increases acidity. Also, sticky candies pose another danger to your teeth because they tend to linger on the tooth surface.
Make an Appointment
Specialists recommend having a dental check-up twice a year. But, if you have problems such as gum disease, you should do so more often. According to this article, it is during this routine check-up that your dentist removes the plaque build-up that you cannot floss or brush off and looks for early signs of decaying teeth.
Most gum disease and nearly all tooth decay can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene. So, ensure your family spends a few minutes every day to brush and floss. This will ensure a life of healthy teeth and gums.