At any stage in life, it’s important for both young children and adults to take proactive measures in protecting their teeth and gums. Through simple but effective dental care habits, you can increase oral hygiene significantly, thus preventing dental problems in the future. At our Barrie dental office we are big promoters of prevention, as these measures invariably lead to longer-lasting teeth at a lower cost.
Dental Care Tips for Babies and Children
Without proper dental hygiene, babies and children can be at risk of dental health issues down the road; this may include trouble with eating, drinking, or even teething. From a young age, it’s strongly recommended that parents teach their children how to care for their teeth properly, as well as regular monitoring (especially at a young age) to ensure they are brushing and flossing their
teeth correctly. Like anything, instilling positive habits at a young age will help to reinforce these healthy routines as one begins to age.
Babies and Children can prevent future dental problems with the following oral health tips:
- When teeth begin to come in, as a parent you should clean your baby’s gums and teeth following every feeding, with either a wet gauze pad or by using a soft child-appropriate toothbrush.
- Prior to using toothpaste with fluoride on your baby’s teeth, it’s strongly recommended consulting with a dentist first.
- Once a baby reaches the age of 1, regular dental visits at least 6 months apart is standard. These are important for the monitoring of growth and development, not just the teeth!
- Be wary of the sugar content in juice or sugary beverages your child is consuming. If they have sugary drinks, have their mouth rinsed out with plain water afterwards; this will help remove some of the sugar remnants. Limit the frequency and duration of these drinks in order to prevent decay.
- Once a child develops teeth, flossing should be implemented at least once daily. This will help to reduce dental plaque which leads to gingivitis and cavities. Small mouths may be easier to floss with flosspiks (those small plastic handles with a short length of floss attached).
- As soon as it is possible, teeth should be brushed twice a day. Remember not to allow any food or drink other than water after bedtime brushing.
- Eat wisely. Keep snacks that contain sugar and starches to a minimal. Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber contribute to salivary flow, preventing early stages of tooth decay.
- Visit the dentist often. Check-ups can identify, prevent and, in some cases reverse early conditions of oral health problems. Teeth cleaning done by a professional dentist is important in deterring oral problems.
Dental Care Tips for Adolescents and Adults
Tooth loss is usually an occurrence caused by gum disease and tooth decay. Once you’re an adolescent or adult, protecting your teeth is of even greater importance, because unlike a child, there are no secondary teeth coming in down the road. It’s vital to take good care of your teeth at every stage in life but it becomes crucial as you reach adulthood. The teeth you now have will be the ones you have for life!
Adolescents and Adults can prevent future dental problems with the following oral health tips:
- At least twice a day, teens and adults should be brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, as well as flossing daily.
- Toothbrushes should be replaced approximately every 3 months, or when it’s evident that bristles are beginning to bend.
- Rechargeable electric toothbrushes are highly recommended. They provide excellent plaque removal, and leave the teeth feeling very clean.
- To help protect gums and prevent gingivitis, using an essential-oil or antibacterial mouthwash can provide some benefit. This is not mandatory, and is not a substitute for flossing and brushing.
- If there are signs of bleeding gums and it persists, see a dentist as soon as possible; this could be a early sign of periodontal disease
- Limit your levels of smoking and alcohol intake, as these can increase the risk of gum infections and tooth decay.
- Reduce the frequency and duration of sugary and acidic foods like soda, candy, and coffee.
- Try to refrain from eating at bedtime; nighttime food is more likely to cause cavities because there is less saliva generated to neutralize acids
- For a customized examination of your oral health status, solutions for your dental concerns, or answers to your mouth questions, contact us! We’d love to be your dentist in Barrie.