The healthier your teeth are, the better your overall health. It is important to take care of your teeth from when you are very young, and throughout your life. Here are the top five dental tips for families looking to keep their teeth healthy for life:
1. See Your Dentist Regularly
It is recommended that you see your dentist for a check-up every six months. With every checkup it is a good idea to have your teeth professionally cleaned. Your hygienist will remove plaque build up that you cannot see and cannot brush away with your toothbrush.
At a regular checkup your dentist will also look for signs of gum disease, enamel wear from tooth grinding, or bruxism, early signs of oral cancer, and signs of tooth decay. Most of these can be prevented or treated if caught early. Your dentist can advise you on the best treatment options.
2. Brush and Floss Your Teeth
Most kinds of gum disease, and tooth decay (cavities) can be prevented by regular proper oral hygiene. It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss everyday. This is also important for very young children and older adults.
Young children should start to clean their teeth as soon as their baby teeth come in. They can use small toothbrushes designed for their small hands and mouths. Children under 2 should stay away from fluoride toothpaste.
Older adults, or those who have trouble gripping a toothbrush handle, may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush or one with a large handle that is easier to grip.
3. Use Fluoride
Dentists recommend using fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel, and prevent tooth decay, or cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that is found in most toothpastes, and mouthwashes. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, and can even reverse the effects of tooth decay.
Many municipalities add fluoride to their tap water, which helps protect the entire population. If you do not have fluoride in your water, you can get a special fluoride rinse from your dentist.
Fluoride should be used sparingly in young children, too much and they can develop white spots on their growing teeth.
4. Wear A Mouthguard to Protect Your Teeth
Exercise is healthy for the body, but some sports can be dangerous for your teeth because of injury or blows to the face. Always wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports such as hockey or soccer and even activities like skateboarding and rollerblading can be a risk to your teeth.
Simcoe Smile Dental can make a custom fitted mouth guard that will fit comfortably, or you can also get a mouth guard at a drugstore or sporting goods store. These can often be softened with hot water to form and fit to your mouth.
5. Watch What You Eat and Drink
A healthy diet is important to your overall health and also to your oral health. A balanced diet featuring lots of fresh fruits and vegetables will give you the vitamins and minerals you need to grow and maintain healthy teeth. Foods that are high in calcium, such as dairy, broccoli, and beans can also help strengthen your teeth.
Limit sugary foods and drinks that contain acid, such as pop and fruit juices. These can cause a threat to your teeth because the acid can wear away your enamel over time. Sticky candies also leave a residue on your teeth, making them more susceptible to tooth decay.
Remember to drink water, it is good for your overall health, and your oral health. Drinking water after a meal can also help rinse away bacteria and acid that can harm your teeth and gums.
Healthy teeth and gums are important at every age. Good dental hygiene, regular check-ups, and teeth cleaning at Park Street Family Dental, will keep your family in good dental health for years to come.