There are so many reasons why you cherish your family’s smiles. Keeping them clean and healthy through regular dental care will help them avoid painful toothaches, gum disease, and other medical problems.
Don’t brush off how important healthy teeth and gums are to your family’s health. Fortunately, our family dental tips can help ensure their teeth stay healthy and clean.
Family Dental Health Should Start Early
Once those first sets of pearly whites appear in your baby’s gummy mouth, it’s time to start taking care of them. One out of four children will have tooth decay in their baby teeth before the time they start school, and by middle school nearly half of children will have cavities. The sooner you can encourage a lifestyle of caring for their teeth, the better.
Use the Right Technique
The right family dental care technique can vary depending on the age of your family. For infants, a damp cloth or a soft brush can be used. Toddlers often insist on brushing their own teeth, but will need supervision to ensure they get the hard to reach places. Even older kids need some reinforcement about dental care from time to time.
Fluoride Keeps Teeth Strong
Fluoride is an important ingredient for dental health, as it strengthens tooth enamel and helps fight decay. Three fourths of all Americans drink fluoridated water, helping to ensure stronger and healthier teeth. If your water is not fluoridated, you can speak with your dental professional, who may be able to suggest or provide fluoride toothpastes, applications, or supplements to keep your teeth healthy.
Sealants Protect Young Teeth
When the permanent molars come into your child’s mouth at around age 6, it is time to consider applying sealants to them. By applying these thin protective coatings on these teeth you can significantly reduce tooth decay and help ensure a healthy smile.
Never Too Young for Flossing
Flossing is a beneficial and important aspect of dental health, regardless of age. As soon as teeth touch each other, food and plaque will build up between teeth. Technique and consideration for age is important here too. Many toddlers can use their own little-kid flossers with some supervision to ensure each side of the tooth is cleaned.
Dental Visits Every 6 Months for Everyone
Stay on track with dental visits for everyone in your family. Ideally, everyone should be seeing the dentist every 6 months. Early detection of any issues such as tooth decay or gum disease makes treatment easier and less expensive.
Take Care of Your Teeth Twice a Day
Ensuring teeth are cleaned a minimum of twice a day will help to reduce plaque, deter gum disease, and ward off tooth decay.
Healthy Snacks for a Healthy Smile
A well balanced diet of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grain products, will ensure a strong and healthy smile. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks, and encourage rinsing or brushing afterwards to ward off tooth decay.
Playing Sports? Use a Mouth Guard
If your child plays a sport that may involve injury, make sure they wear an appropriate mouth guard to protect their teeth. These are available at sporting goods stores or your dental office. Keep in mind home activities like rollerblading or skateboarding can pose a danger to teeth as well, and plan accordingly.
Don’t Smoke or Use Smokeless Tobacco
Not only does tobacco stain teeth, but it also significantly increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Consider quitting if you currently smoke, and talk to your children about the dangers of smoking.
Most tooth decay and gum disease can be avoided by ensuring your family practices good dental hygiene. A lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth only takes a few minutes of your time each day.
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