From a sparkling smile to avoiding toothache and diseases, there are many good reasons to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. But even though getting your whole family involved when it comes to taking proper care of their oral health is a great idea, putting it into practice can be quite difficult to execute. Thankfully, there are many simple ways to keep teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. One of which is finding the right dentist; if you need one, be sure to consider American Family Dentistry and Orthodontics for dental services. Here is how you can assure the dental health of your whole family:
Teach children from a young age
Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months of age, when the teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At about age 2, you can start teaching your children about the importance of oral hygiene and even let them try brushing for themselves, although it’s very important to supervise. Your children will likely need help brushing their teeth until they are 7 or 8 years old, when they can finally start using a larger-sized toothbrush.
Brush and floss twice a day
Gum disease and tooth decay are still some of the biggest dental problems people face, no matter their age. So, apart from the basic advice of brushing teeth properly and flossing twice a day, remember that toothbrushes need to be changed 3 to 4 times a year, to avoid the development of fungus and bacteria. Bear in mind that teenagers and adults with braces might need to use special tools to clean their teeth properly, while elderly people with arthritis or other health problems might have difficulty holding a toothbrush or using floss, and might find electric toothbrushes easier to handle.
Consider cosmetic procedures
If one of the adult or elderly members of your family is suffering from severe gum disease or tooth decay, severely worn-down teeth, or is even missing some of their teeth, it might be time to consider a cosmetic procedure that will not only bring them their smile back, but also help them regain full use of their teeth. If you opt for a minimally invasive procedure, such as all on 4 dental implants, you will lower the pain and the cost of the procedure, while improving your overall quality of life.
Block blows to the teeth
While sports and recreational activities may be great for the body, they can pose a serious threat to the teeth. Even though most school teams now require children to wear mouth guards, remember that unsupervised recreational activities, such as skateboarding or rollerblading, may also result in injuries. Whether your dentist makes a custom-fitted mouth guard or you buy one that can form fit to your mouth, make sure to protect your and your children’s teeth at all times.
Be mindful of your diet
No matter your age, a healthy diet is essential for maintaining the health of your gums and teeth, as well as your overall health and wellbeing. A well-balanced diet that consists of dairy products and whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts, will provide you with all the nutrients you need, while helping you maintain optimal dental health. Some researchers also believe that consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids, such as the ones most commonly found in fish, might also help reduce inflammation, thus lowering the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Rinse or chew gum after meals
In addition to brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent most gum problems, and even tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can also protect the health of your gums and teeth by increasing the production of saliva, which naturally neutralizes acid and helps wash any bacteria away. Of course, just as in chewing gums, it’s important to avoid sugar in snacks, drinks and meals, as well, as it can pose a serious threat to the health of your teeth.
Almost all tooth decay, and most gum diseases, can be prevented with good oral hygiene. It only takes a few extra minutes every day to brush and floss, as well as a few precautionary measures, for a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth.