Those sparkling white teeth and happy, healthy smiles are vital reasons to keep your family’s dental health in the best condition.
Since having complete natural teeth is a crucial aspect of good nutrition, it’s important to ensure your family members avoid gum disease and cavities. This is why regular visits to a family dental clinic in Black Rock (or wherever you are located) will ensure that your loved ones’ dental health is maintained.
Here are valuable dental health tips your entire family can apply for oral health and to ensure your pearly whites stay intact:
1. Develop good eating habits
What you put inside your mouth is a crucial aspect of caring for your teeth.
Encourage your family to develop good eating habits which include:
- Consuming calcium and protein-rich foods such as lean meats and dairy products.
- Avoiding sugar-laden foods such as cookies, candies and soft drinks.
- Opting for healthier hydration options like water and fresh fruits.
2. Brush properly
As early as possible, teach each member of your family the proper brushing technique.
When brushing, the toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. Make sure to brush all the surfaces of your mouth including the teeth, gum line, and chewing surfaces.
Brushing the teeth should be done at least twice a day and within a minimum of two minutes every single time. For young children who can already brush by themselves, it’s still important to supervise them to ensure they are doing it right.
- Change your toothbrush three to four times each year, or every three months.
- For teenagers with braces, use special toothbrushes or other oral hygiene tools.
- A family member who has a hard time holding a toothbrush can make use of an electric toothbrush.
3. Use an adequate amount of fluoride
Fluoride is good for your oral health as it helps strengthens the tooth enamel, making it less susceptible to decay.
Nowadays, there are mouthwash and toothpaste products that contain fluoride. However, you must consult first with your dentist on how to use fluoride sparingly, especially for young children who need a lower dosage. Also, avoid swallowing products with fluoride.
4. Consider dental sealants for kids
At around age six, permanent molars can start growing. Dental sealants which are thin protective coatings placed on chewing surfaces on the back teeth can help prevent decay in hard-to-reach fissures and pits.
Since young children are more vulnerable to tooth decay, consult with your dentist on how a dental sealant can benefit your child.
5. Chew gum or rinse your mouth after meals
On top of flossing and brushing daily, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial alcohol-free mouthwash can help in preventing gum problems and tooth decay.
Chewing on sugar-free gum after a meal can also protect your teeth as doing so increases saliva flow which, in turn, washes away bacteria and neutralizes acid naturally.
6. Use a mouth guard
Taking part in sports may help build a healthy body but it can also pose a threat to your teeth. Most athletic activities now require individuals to wear mouth guards to avoid mouth injuries. You can ask your dentist to make you a custom-fitted mouth guard or simply buy one at a sporting goods store.
7. Stop smoking
Tobacco can stain teeth and increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease.
So if you smoke, consider quitting as early as possible since you may end up encouraging other family members to take up this bad habit. What’s worse, the secondhand smoke they inhale from your smoking can cause lung cancer.
Think about it. You’re not only putting yourself at risk, but your family as well.
8. Make and keep regular dental appointments
Ensure that your family gets to visit the dentist for a check-up at least every six months.
This way, they can undergo routine oral exams and teeth cleaning to remove any plaque build-up. Going to regular dental appointments also helps spot:
- Wear and tear due to tooth grinding
- Early symptoms of oral cancer
- Warning signs of gum disease
- Negative effects of certain medications
Threats to your oral health can be easily recognized and prevented by your dentist through routine checkups.
Moreover, it allows your dentist to administer emergency dental care (when required) as soon as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse.
When every member of the family practices good oral hygiene, you can prevent most dental issues from cropping up.
After all, visiting the dentist, flossing and brushing your teeth daily are just among the healthy habits you should adopt to ensure a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth.
Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual’s requirements, Mike’s focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.