Review these healthy teeth tips from your family dentist, Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster. Avoiding tooth decay and gum disease will keep teeth happy, ensure a great smile, and help to keep your overall health in good shape. Unhealthy teeth can lead to difficulty with general nutrition, speech problems, tooth loss, and reduced self-esteem. So, let us help you take the best care of your teeth with a full range of dental services, whitening to fillings, crowns, implants and more.
Check the following healthy teeth tips from your family dentist.
1. Start Oral Hygiene Early
It's never too early to establish a regular dental care routine with a baby. Even before their first tooth appears, it is good to get into the habit of cleaning your baby's gums after each feeding. Using a soft, damp washcloth, you can gently rub the surfaces of their gums clean. When their teeth appear, switch to using a soft bristled brush designed for babies. At around two years old, children can start learning how to brush their teeth twice daily, but should still be supervised and assisted by an adult.
2. Don't Smoke
When it comes to healthy teeth tips from your family dentist, this one goes without saying. Smoking puts you at a higher risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Tobacco can also permanently stain the surface of teeth and create bad breath. Remember that children tend to follow in the footsteps of their parents, so try to set a good example by not smoking, at least not around children.
3. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Including plenty of whole foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and protein sources into your family's diet will go a long way in keeping every aspect of their bodies fit and well. Calcium can be found in dairy products, nuts, and pulses such as beans or lentils. This, along with Vitamin D, is necessary to form strong bones and teeth.
4. Brush and Floss Daily
Everyone, from toddlers to the very elderly should brush their teeth twice per day. This is the most important step anyone can take in keeping their teeth strong and free from tooth decay, and it only takes five minutes. You can foster good brushing habits by making it easy and fun for everyone to take care of their teeth, first thing in the morning and before going to bed. Change brushes every 3 months, and try different types until you find the right one. Extra grips on the handles will make it easier for the elderly or those with mobility issues to complete this important task. Of course, always remember to floss. If you’re like a lot of people, you may prefer disposable floss sticks to traditional floss.
5. Use Fluoride
Fluoride is added to the majority of drinking water in the US, due to its success in strengthening enamel and preventing tooth decay. If your local water source is not fluoridated, it is a good idea to talk to your dentist about the best ways to introduce the correct amount of fluoride to your family's dental routine. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children. Just a word of caution, too much fluoride can cause white spots to form on the enamel.
6. Rinse or Chew Gum after Eating
Food particles remaining on your teeth after eating will increase the levels of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. You may find it inconvenient to brush after every time you eat throughout the day, but a quick rinse with mouthwash or chewing sugar-free gum will help keep bacteria at bay. Remember that chewing gum is not suitable for very young children that may accidentally swallow it.
7. Use a Mouthguard for Sports
When participating in sports, martial arts or other activities that involve potential knocks and bumps, children and adults should use a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard, or you can buy a generic one that molds to your mouth. The important thing is to have something to reduce the risk of injury from impacts. A mouthguard will lower the risk of chipped or broken teeth and prevent the wearer from biting their tongue or the inside of their cheek.
8. Avoid Sugar
Bacteria in our mouth feed on simple sugars and produce an acid, that when left for long enough, can eventually dissolve tooth enamel. Avoiding sugar entirely is difficult, but if we can limit sticky candies and sweet drinks, our teeth appreciate it. Soft drinks such as sodas and fruit juices tend to be high in sugar and acid. When they are sipped slowly over a prolonged time, they can hugely increase the risk of tooth decay. Limit sugary drinks and foods to mealtimes only, instead of consuming throughout the day.
9. Consider Sealants
Sealants are applied to the surface of healthy molars and premolars to protect against cavities. The resin-like substance is easy to apply and adds an extra fortifying layer over the pits and fissures of molars that are particularly susceptible to cavities. These sealants can be applied to children's adult molars as soon as they come in.
10. Keep Up With Your Dentist Appointments
A dental check-up, every six months definitely makes the list of healthy teeth tips from your family dentist. Recommended for both children and adults, regular check-ups allow your dentist to monitor any changes in the condition of your teeth and tackle the first signs of decay. Skipping dental appointments can enable problems such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer to develop into serious conditions that will be more difficult to treat.
Following these healthy teeth tips from your family dentist will give your family the best advantage when it comes to lifelong oral health. Avoiding tooth decay means avoiding unnecessary pain, the hassle of multiple appointments to treat cavities and the blow of unexpected costs. For more help on preventative dental care, contact our friendly team at Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster. We are happy to help you and your children learn the best techniques for great dental hygiene.