Maintaining Your Family’s Dental Health
Maintaining proper dental health for your entire family should be a top priority. Unfortunately, many individuals neglect to take care of their teeth and gums until problems arise. Lack of routine dental care and not practicing good oral hygiene is a major cause of periodontal disease in adults. Proper oral hygiene should be taught and practiced at a very young age and maintained for life.
Your Child’s Dental Health
You should start focusing on your baby’s dental health after he cuts his first tooth. While you won’t want to brush a five or six month old infant’s tooth with a toothbrush which can irritate baby’s delicate gums, you can clean his teeth and gums using sterile gauze or a clean washcloth. Always wash your hands prior to cleaning your baby’s teeth. A baby toothbrush may be used on older infants, and don’t neglect the gums as well. Toddler teeth may be gently flossed, but you should consult with your pediatric dentist to learn the correct way to do so.
Many dental experts and pediatricians recommend that a child should have his first dental examination at the age of 12 months. While this may seem a bit young, the dentist can offer advice and pinpoint any potential problems that could become more serious later on. Your dentist will recommend you practice good habits for your little one, including refraining from giving him a bottle at bedtime that contains sugary fluids.
Taking the Bite Out of Dental Problems
Children and adults often suffer from periodontal issues that can easily be prevented. For one thing, sports injuries are a major cause of tooth loss and injuries resulting in expensive and painful dental procedures. Children and teenagers who participate in sports should wear mouth guards for protection. Your dentist can create a custom fitted mouth piece that will provide the protection you or your child needs.
Adults need to brush and floss at least twice daily, and a fluoride toothpaste can provide cavity protection. Soft bristled toothbrushes are typically best for sensitive teeth and gums, as the firm styles may irritate the mouth. In addition, one should never brush teeth with a frayed toothbrush as it may easily damage the gums and teeth. A toothbrush needs to be replaced every few months or following a viral or bacterial illness.
Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Did you realize that teeth grinding can cause dental issues as well? This is why it is important not to clench your jaw and grind your teeth. Some individuals habitually grind their teeth during sleep, and this can cause problems with alignment. Fortunately, this issue can be corrected with a night guard that may be custom fitted by your dentist.
Feed Your Teeth Well
There are several other things you can do to help maintain proper oral health. Did you realize that your diet may play an important role in dental health as well? We all know that sweets and sugary snacks can be bad for the teeth and lead to cavities and tooth decay. Sugary chewing gum is another thing to avoid. If you must chew gum, insist on the sugarless varieties.
By the same means, there are some foods that can actually assist you in oral cleaning. Crunchy celery and carrot sticks can help remove sticky substances from teeth, while providing you with essential nutrients as well. Avoid acidic substances in excess however, as this may lead to acid erosion and enamel loss.
Good Practice for Life
Stained teeth can be unsightly and you may incur a large expense to have them professionally cleaned by your dentist. To avoid staining, refrain from drinking coffee and tea. Besides being harmful to one’s health and being a possible cause of oral cancer, nicotine can also stain the teeth, which is another reason to quit smoking. You might also want to refrain from drinking red wine, another culprit that causes stained teeth.
While it might not be practical or even possible to brush teeth after every smack or meal, rinsing the mouth with ordinary warm water can help remove some of the residue in between brushing. When all is said and done, practicing good oral hygiene is a matter of common sense and logic, and following simple guidelines every day can help you maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.