There are plenty of good reasons you must make sure that your family’s dental health is taken care of. To see their bright and confident smiles and ensure that they can chew well to get good nutrition, parents have a lot to look forward to when their children’s teeth are clean and strong. Also, by cultivating good oral hygiene, you can help your kids avoid the discomfort and pain caused by cavities.
Researchers discovered that gum disease is connected to a higher risk of heart disease. This means that if you maintain your family’s oral health, you also have one less reason to worry about regarding their cardiovascular health.
If you’re not sure what you can do to make this happen, here’s some advice experts have that every parent should heed:
Teach children the proper way to brush
One in every four young children develops signs of tooth decay even before they are old enough to go to school. Despite your best efforts at preventing this, teens aged between 12 and 15 years old may have cavities in their teeth.
According to experts, teaching children about proper oral hygiene early is one of the best ways to make sure their oral health is taken care of as they grow older.
At six months old, regularly wipe your kid’s teeth clean. This may also be done earlier, once your child’s first tooth emerges. Use a damp washcloth or a soft brush (that’s age appropriate) to prevent plaque or tartar buildup.
Once your child reaches two years old or becomes old enough to understand simple instructions, you can let them try brushing. Of course, you should supervise them at first.
Teach your child the correct length of time for brushing (120 seconds) and which parts of the oral cavity they should be brushing (teeth and tongue). Also, make sure your child knows that they need to brush two to three times a day or after every meal.
Visit the dentist regularly
Whether it’s for wisdom teeth removal in Fort Lauderdale or a simple checkup, visiting your dentist regularly is also a good practice in keeping your family’s teeth and gums healthy.
According to experts, visits to the dentist should be scheduled every six months. During the checkup, the dentist would check for signs of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues. They may also recommend having dental X-rays taken to check for cavities that may not be immediately apparent.
Checkup schedules may vary from one person to another, so talk to your family dentist to determine the frequency of your visits. Since your dentist has your records and understands your medical and dental history well, they can offer you the best advice on the matter.
Have your teeth professionally cleaned
Even as you make sure that your family practices correct oral hygiene, it is still better to have your teeth professionally cleaned. This can be done during a routine dental examination or as needed.
Dental hygienists perform teeth cleaning in Fort Lauderdale by scraping off plaque and hardened tartar from the teeth’s surface. They also polish teeth and could offer advice for you and your family about the correct way of brushing and flossing, especially if they find residues of food particles stuck in between the teeth.
Choose the right oral care products
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss are your first line of defense against plaque, cavity, and other issues involving your gums and teeth. That said, you have to ensure that every member of the family has the right products for their specific dental needs.
Children, for example, need age-appropriate toothbrushes that match the size and contour of their mouths. Many dentists recommend brushes with soft bristles because hard ones may cause the gum tissue to recede from the teeth, thereby exposing the roots to temperatures and certain foods and drinks.
People with sensitive gums may also require thinner dental floss that easily glides through space in between the teeth. This will help prevent them from hurting sensitive gums.
In the case of toothpaste, choosing those with just the right amount of fluoride is important. This substance helps strengthen the enamel of the teeth, making it less likely to decay. However, fluoride should be used sparingly by children as too much can cause white spots on their teeth.
Reduce Sugary and starchy foods in your meals
When planning weekly meals, you also need to consider your family’s oral health. Experts recommend limiting food and drinks that are high in sugar and starch content, such as candy and desserts.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people only need to consume sugar that’s less than 10 percent of their total calorie intake. Based on research, reducing sugar consumption to 5 percent could further lower the risk of dental problems.
Besides sugar, starchy foods like biscuits, bread, chips, pasta, and crackers should be limited as these can cause tooth decay, too. These foods linger in the mouth and often break down into simple sugars that serve as food for bacteria that produce acids, which, in turn, causes tooth decay.
Replace sugary drinks with plenty of water
Water is the single best drink for your oral health. Aside from keeping you hydrated, it also helps wash away food debris from your teeth.
Besides, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, and other sweetened beverages feed acid-producing bacteria that leads to tooth decay. So, it is best to stick to clean drinking water.
This also applies to children aged six months and above. Toddlers should have a sip of water in between meals, but milk and juices should be saved for mealtimes only.
Teach oral hygiene by example
As parents, the best way you can teach children about proper oral hygiene is to lead by example. Show them the correct way to brush your teeth and how often it must be done. You can even make it into a family bonding activity to help them remember the routine and look forward to it.
To keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy, you must exert extra effort in knowing and inculcating the proper methods of oral care among your kids.