Do You Think You Know Everything About Oral Health?
Good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing twice a day and having regular dental checkups. Read below to read good oral hygiene tips for adults and children!
Good Oral Hygiene is a Must
Oral health is about more than cavities and gum disease. Research has shown that there is an association between the health of a person’s mouth and their overall health. Experts consider oral health problems to be a global health burden.
Without treatment, tooth decay or gum problems can lead to pain, problems with self-confidence, and tooth loss. These issues may lead to malnutrition, speech problems, and other challenges in a person’s work, school, or personal life.
People can prevent these problems with proper dental care, both at home and in the dentist’s office. The following are some best practices that can keep teeth and gums healthy.
What Can You Do to Maintain Good Oral Health?
You can keep your teeth for your lifetime! Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth:
1. Brush regularly, but not aggressively
Most people are aware that brushing their teeth twice a day is one of the most important practices for keeping teeth clean. However, brushing may only be effective if people use the correct technique.
People should brush using small circular motions. This process takes between 2 and 3 minutes. People should avoid sawing back-and-forth motions.
Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums. The effects of this may include tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective enamel on the teeth, and gum erosion.
2. See a dentist regularly
Experts recommend that people see a dentist every 6 months for a checkup. Infants should see a dentist when they get their first tooth!
During a routine dental examination, a hygienist will clean the teeth and remove plaque and hardened tartar. The dentist will also check for visual signs of cavities, gum disease, mouth cancer, and other oral health issues. They may sometimes also use dental X-rays to check for cavities.
3. Floss daily
Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food that has become trapped between the teeth.
Most dental health professionals recommend gently pushing the floss all the way down to the gumline before hugging the side of the tooth with up-and-down motions.
4. Use fluoride
Many experts believe that fluoride helps prevent cavities, and it is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.
Evidence suggests that a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay, even if a person takes care of their teeth otherwise. A recent review found that brushing and flossing do not prevent a person from getting cavities if they do not use fluoride.
Kids Oral Health is Extremely Important
A child’s primary teeth, which people sometimes call baby teeth, are just as important as their permanent teeth. Baby teeth help a child chew and speak. They are placeholders for the future permanent teeth.
If a child loses a baby tooth to decay, this can disrupt the space in the mouth and make it difficult for the adult tooth to develop correctly. With this in mind, it is best to introduce good dental care for children during infancy.
Babies should not go to bed with bottles or sippy cups.
Milk and juice contain sugars that can cause tooth decay if they remain on the teeth for extended periods.
As a baby approaches 1 year of age, start getting them used to a sippy cup. Aim to stop using bottles by their first birthday.
Allow toddlers to sip water from sippy cups between meals, but save juice or milk for meal times only.
Once a baby has teeth, brush them twice a day.
Using a soft baby toothbrush, and a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste (no bigger than a grain of rice). Children who are 3 to 6 years of age may use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Parents or caregivers should brush the child’s teeth for them until they can clean all of their teeth thoroughly without help. Monitor them to make sure that they spit out the toothpaste.
Children need to see the dentist
The ADA recommend that children see a dentist within 6 months of their first tooth appearing or at 1 year of age, whichever comes first.
Although the first visit is mainly for the dentist to examine your child’s mouth and to check growth and development, it’s also about your child being comfortable.
Don’t wait until there’s an emergency.