We cannot emphasize the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene.
It is vital to be passionate about implementing practices that safeguard your family’s dental health as a parent. Poor oral hygiene can lead to speech problems, instances where you have problems chewing food, and other health conditions. Generally, it affects your quality of life.
To avoid such unfortunate situations, every parent should implement various practices that ensure the optimal health of their family’s teeth.
This article focuses on 7 dental hygiene tips that preserve your family’s smile.
Let us dive into details.
- Visit Your dentist regularly
Create a habit of visiting your dentist at least two times annually, even when you have healthy teeth and gums. Then, if you have any dental problems, make the visits more frequent as dentists will take care of your teeth, preventing more serious oral problems.
If, for instance, your kid has braces, your orthodontist will enlighten you on how long it takes to get braces off and share the best braces practices to ensure a gorgeous smile. For example, they will advise on the foods they should eat and those to avoid as well as how to ensure no stubborn foods are stuck on the braces after brushing.
And it doesn’t end here.
Generally, the dentist will treat any oral issue you may have. They will also offer preventive care, examining your family’s teeth and gums, looking for any signs of decay, cavities, and gum problems.
- Limit Sugar and Starch
Too much sugar is detrimental to the health of your family. Not only does excess sugar increase the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes and unhealthy weight gain, but it also causes cavities.
When we consume sugar, the bacteria in our mouths produce acids that erode our enamel and form plaque. Besides, sugar in our teeth is responsible for gingivitis and gum disease, which have a devastating effect on our teeth and gums.
Doctors also advise families to limit their starch intake because enzymes in our mouths break down starch into sugar. Hence, you can switch biscuits and sweet treats for fruits and other healthier alternatives. Instead of store-bought juice, you can always blend fresh juice and do not add any sugar.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Drink at least 2 liters of water every day!
This is a common piece of advice we have heard for the longest time. Of course, those who religiously drink plenty of water do it for hydration purposes mostly. However, did you know that drinking water improves your dental hygiene?
When we drink water, it washes away food particles that attract bacteria, kick starting teeth cleaning even before you pick up your brush. It also dilutes acids in the mouth, preventing teeth corrosion. So, as much as it is advisable to avoid sugary drinks, there are occasions like birthday parties when children will have a lollipop and drink a glass of juice. Drinking water washes away the unwanted sugar residue, minimizing the chances of developing cavities.
Besides, water has no calories and keeps dry mouth at bay, a condition that might trigger tooth decay.
- Brush Your Teeth Properly
High chances are that you learned how to brush your teeth as a kid. However, the critical question is, ‘are you brushing your teeth properly?”
As you teach your children how to brush their teeth, you need to evaluate whether you are doing it as is advised.
To clean your teeth properly, you must use the right toothbrush. For instance, your kids will need a brush with soft bristles to avoid bruising their gums. It should also be the correct size.
Additionally, you need to brush the inner sides and pay extra attention to the molars. Also, make sure you brush for at least two minutes, two times a day. Last but not least, don’t always start cleaning your teeth at the same place. Instead, switch every time as people tend to concentrate more on areas where they brush first.
Brushing your teeth correctly will prevent tooth decay and if you have braces, notably determine how long it takes to get braces off.
- Eat Healthy Meals
Eating a healthy diet boosts your immunity, minimizes your risk of contracting lifestyle diseases, and basically, allows you to live longer. Additionally, eating healthy meals is good for your teeth.
Vegetable’s rich in fiber and dairy products are some of the foods that will improve your oral health. For starters, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables will help clean the teeth. On the other hand, dairy products are rich in calcium, which is excellent for stronger bones and teeth.
If you can introduce green and black teas into your regular diet, then you are in luck. Black and green teas contain polyphenols that fight bacteria in your mouth. They also prevent them from creating acids that destroy our teeth.
Sugarless chewing gum is another edible that is great for your dental health as it facilitates saliva production (see here). Hence, you don’t have to worry about suffering from a dry mouth, which boosts the likelihood of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth ulcers.
- Use the Right Fluoride Strength
Fluoride is a tried-and-tested mineral widely known for its efficacy in preventing tooth decay. This is because it infuses itself into the tooth, making it stronger. However, to enjoy these benefits, it is essential that you use the right amount of fluoride.
The recommended fluoride content for toothpaste that the whole family uses is between 1000 and 1500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride (source). However, various other fluoride strengths may be good for you. However, if you have toddlers, you can ask your dentist to recommend their ideal fluoride strength.
- Protect Your Teeth
Taking proactive measures to avoid chipped or broken teeth is another tip to improve your dental health. For example, in the absence of a can opener, resist the temptation to open them using your teeth. Also, stay away from fights and potentially dangerous games.
- Bottom line
There you have it! Seven dental hygiene tips that will ensure your family enjoy broader smiles for years to come. Just make sure you instill these dental care habits while your kids are still in their infancy stage to ensure they carry them into adulthood.