Is there anything more beautiful than the beaming, broad, white smile of a happy child? Or the gorgeous grin of a happy young person that radiates good health, vitality and top-notch dental hygiene?Those indeed are some of the most beautiful sights in the whole world, but they don’t happen by accident. Smiles like that result from daily dental care, annual cleanings and checkups by the dentist, and a whole host of good habits developed early on.Healthy teeth can tell a lot about a person; their overall health, mental state, and poor dental hygiene can be detrimental to their overall health, not just teeth.In this article, we outline some of the “best practices” suggested by dentists everywhere so that children’s teeth stay healthy and bright and last them well into adulthood and beyond. These habits are important for everyone, even the elderly! So if you’ve become a little lax in your dental care habits, read on and commit to making your smile a priority.
1- Never Go To Bed Without Brushing
And not just a quick spin with your toothbrush, no matter how tired you may be. Thoroughly brush your teeth, using the proper brushing technique, which is:
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums ( When the toothbrush is angled at the widely recommended 45 degrees to the tooth (Bass technique), the bristles can easily reach under the gumline and into the sulcus to clean away dental plaque)
Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes to get to hard-to-reach places at the back.
Two to three minutes is the recommended length by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).Use a soft-bristled toothbrush; never hard! Food is soft. A brush cannot remove hard food; see your dental hygienist for it!For babies without teeth, a toothbrush or use a wet cloth and wipe their gums so that when their teeth come in, they come into a clean environment. Milk has sugar in it, and this was as the teeth are erupting; they don’t have sugar setting on them.
2- Never Overlook Your Tongue
Lots of people forget that brushing your tongue is as important as brushing your teeth. Germs fester in the tongue and contribute to halitosis (bad breath) and tooth decay. A good scrubbing goes a long way toward ensuring those problems don’t develop.
3- Flossing and Brushing Are of Equal Value – and Importance!
Flossing is a key dental practice that too many adults skip, particularly if they are in a hurry. But getting all that plaque out from between your teeth is the surest way to prevent cavities and keep your breath smelling fresh.If flossing is difficult, try the floss picks (they are stiff, and some dentists don’t love them but better than nothing ) but try your best to use regular floss and ensure you C shape floss around your teeth as cavities now are forming on the corners of the teeth not just in between the teeth.People floss, and the food goes to the side, and some don’t brush after, so the food stays there, and when I go looking for the cavities, I find them in the corners!!Have you ever flossed your teeth and smelled the “gunk” that comes out on the strip? Gross!Magnify that odour by a thousand, and you’ve got an idea of what halitosis really smells like and what contributes to its creation. We guarantee you’ll never skip flossing again!
4- Even If Flossing Is Awkward, Persevere…
Sometimes it is difficult for children to learn how to floss, but keep at it, and they will catch on eventually.Let them watch you floss your teeth and explain why it’s such an important habit to develop. They’ll gradually develop a way to get at all their top and back teeth but start with the lower molars, which are easier to see and access.Some older people have a hard time flossing because of arthritis or other joint problems, and fine motor skills are needed to floss properly.Again, we urge you to persevere because losing a tooth can mean an expensive replacement or even a partial denture. To keep all your teeth even as you age, it’s vital that you pay close attention to them and invest time in caring for them.
5- Consider Using a Good Mouthwash
Many people are under the misconception that mouthwash merely masks bad breath. In fact, a quality mouthwash can do much more, such as replenishing minerals to your teeth, which is important for both children and older adults.Another benefit of using mouthwash is that it can help remove food particles trapped in and around hard-to-reach teeth.Some dentists don’t recommend it much as people think it replaces flossing and brushing only if food particles are not stuck to the tooth, which most will they come off.Those dentists always recommend good brushing and flossing and always brush after flossing or brush, floss, brush to get what you got off with the floss for those that don’t C shape floss. If all fails and you have a sore spot, ” SALT-WATER ” is your best friend!In their opinion, mouth wash, if used correctly, will have added but limited benefits. Mouth wash for kids is good if it has fluoride in it and can be used based on the concentration daily or weekly. Children and adults alike can benefit from good mouthwash, so check with your dentist on a brand they recommend, and then make a game out of swishing it around and spitting it out; your children will catch on quickly!
6- Limit Sugar and Sweets
And not just the obvious ones, like chocolate bars and desserts. Sugar is in most processed foods, so eating whole, natural foods are always the healthier choice. And serve crunchy stuff, like carrots and broccoli; anything to stimulate your family’s jaws and get them chewing! Processed food is invariably softer than whole foods, so skip it as often as you can and serve fresh, not frozen, entrees and other foods.If a child or adult is going to have dessert make sure it’s with a meal; snacking all day long is a huge problem, always limit sugar intake like juice to 20 min no long, sipping for adults and kids is also a big no-no!Don’t allow sugary soda in the house, and you’ll immediately improve the health of the children’s teeth – and your own!
7- Use Toothpaste With Fluoride
The science is in: fluoride is good for teeth and helps protect them from decay. Many locations have fluoride in the water, but some don’t; particularly in America, like everything else, it seems, this has been a contentious issue in local, state and federal politics.Many major American cities have fluoridated water, but some do not. In Canada, the national dental association (CDA) agrees that fluoride is safe and beneficial, and most provinces support its addition to water sources.Fluoride Maybe adds for young children, add a pea-size drop of toothpaste to the top of ONE bristle on their toothbrush, and if they swallow it, it’s ok. Make sure you hide the toothpaste as some kids like to squeeze it in their mouths! CALL poison control right away if that happens!!To find out policy in your area, research local government websites for further information. If you happen to live in a community without fluoridated water, it is doubly important that it is added to the toothpaste you buy.
8- Drink Lots Of Water
Getting into this habit is good for just about every part of your body – your skin, organs, teeth, bones and nails. Drinking lots of water helps wash away bits of food and other things that collect in your mouth between brushings. In fact, there is nothing water isn’t good for, so drink up!
9- Visit The Dentist Every 6–12 Months
Going to the dentist is part of good child care – we all know it is – but it is also true that going to the dentist can be stressful for children and adults alike. But getting them into this practice when they’re young is the best way to ensure their teeth are healthy, strong and growing properly.Modern, 21st-century dentistry is not the scary experience it once was, nor is it painful to have your teeth cleaned or a cavity filled. Let your child watch you have a checkup and even cleaning if they like, so the mystery vanishes and they won’t worry as much.After the first or second visit, particularly if you’ve got a dentist with a good “chair-side manner,” your child will soon relax. They may never love going for a checkup – who does? — but they will become comfortable with it. And a clean bill of dental health is a great encouragement for them to keep up their brushing, flossing and rinsing habits!
10- Brush At Least Two or Three Times A Day
Brushing too often can damage enamel, so most dentists suggest that once in the morning and again at bedtime is enough – if you do it properly and floss, that is. But brushing after every meal is also fine if you enjoy the feeling of a just brushed mouth! Consistent brushing and flossing, along with plenty of water and not too many sweets, is the secret to having strong teeth and a dazzling smile. Dental hygiene must start young, and keeping these habits up is the only way to ensure you’ve got your teeth forever.Dr. Asile El-Darahali has been contributed to the article.
Once a child starts doing these things, first with mom and dad and then on their own, the practices become second nature, and your child will have a set routine that preserves their teeth and keeps their lovely smile. And they’ll likely still have that gorgeous grin when they’re fifty and beyond!That’s what we all want, for ourselves and our children; healthy lives with strong bones and teeth. That’s definitely something worth smiling about!