Fortunately, it is never too early to start getting into healthy dental habits! Lifelong good dental habits can help ensure your childrenâ€™s teeth remain healthy and look great.
Preventing Dental Issues
The best way to prevent dental issues from happening in the first place is by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Donâ€™t wait until your child starts showing signs of their first tooth. You can wipe their mouth down with a clean cloth each night before bed to ensure thereâ€™s no bacteria left behind.
Once their teeth start to come in, brush them gently with water and schedule their first visit to the dentist to ensure that your child has no potential issues. After your dentist says itâ€™s all right, you can start using toothpaste with fluoride on your childâ€™s teeth.
It can take several years for children to master brushing their teeth properly, so you may have to help them ensure they are doing a thorough job. There are many ways to help make brushing more fun, such as buying toothpaste in a flavour they like or getting an electric brush with a timer built in!
Developing Strong and Healthy Teeth
Weâ€™ve already discussed the importance of making sure your children brush their teeth daily and that you schedule regular visits to the dentist. However, there are many other ways to help ensure your children develop strong and healthy teeth, including the following:
Donâ€™t put your baby to bed with a bottle. Having fluids such as juice or milk sit on a babyâ€™s teeth for hours can cause the sugars in them to eat away at the teethâ€™s enamel.
Try switching from a bottle to a sippy cup when they are a year old. A sippy cup helps prevent liquid from pooling around your childâ€™s teeth.
Ensure that your children are getting enough fluoride in their teeth. Most tap water contains fluoride, but you can ask your dentist for fluoride supplements if yours doesnâ€™t.
Limit the amount of sticky candy your child eats. We understand that most children love to eat candy, and weâ€™re not saying you should deny them all sweets and treats! However, avoiding gummy candy that sticks to your teeth is essential, as it can damage their enamel.
Consider getting sealants put on your childâ€™s molars. These help protect the molars and make them less prone to getting cavities.
Improving Overall Health
Having a healthy mouth is linked to being healthy overall. If you have poor oral health, you can be at risk of developing conditions such as:
Endocarditis. This is an infection of the inner lining of your heart. It can be caused by germs spreading from your mouth to your heart via your bloodstream.
Cardiovascular diseases. For example, clogged arteries and heart disease have been linked to infections or inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases can be caused by oral bacteria being pulled into your lungs.
Another issue to consider with your health is if you have impacted wisdom teeth. With impacted wisdom teeth, you can suffer from a variety of issues, including swollen gums and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. The best way to deal with such issues is with wisdom tooth extraction.
Establishing Lifelong Habits
Taking good care of your teeth must be a lifelong habit! These are the best ways to ensure you have good oral health at every stage of your life:
For children, regular brushing and visits to the dentist are a must.
For teenagers, they should continue with regular brushing and also add in flossing. For some teenagers, there may be the additional complication of braces. Talk to the dentist and orthodontist about the best way to ensure your teen has healthy teeth while having braces. And make sure that your teen knows that a visit to the orthodontist doesnâ€™t replace a visit to the dentist!
Adults also need to make sure they continue to brush and floss daily. Keep up with regular visits to the dentist and address any issues, such as cavities, as soon as they are found.
Seniors need to see the dentist regularly, and may also need to customize their oral hygiene routine to include particular types of toothpaste or floss aimed at seniors.
Finally, the best thing you can do for your teeth at any age is avoid smoking and keep a healthy diet.
Early Detection for Effective Treatment
As with any health issue, the earlier a dental problem is detected, the more effectively it can be treated. These are some of the dental issues that children can face:
Cavities. Even if your child is brushing twice a day, they can still end up developing cavities. The earlier these are caught, the less invasive and painful the treatment will be.
Teeth and jaw misalignment. A dentist can detect if your child has any issues with their teeth growing crooked or their jaw not developing correctly. The earlier these issues are caught, the easier they are to treat.
Excessive thumb sucking. If a child sucks their thumb for too long, this can cause damage to their teeth or jaws. A dentist can help you develop a plan to help decrease your childâ€™s urge to suck their thumb.
Give Your Child a Healthy Start in Life With Solid Oral Hygiene Habits
One of the best ways to help your kids stay healthy is by teaching them good oral hygiene habits early in life. The earlier brushing and flossing their teeth become a habit, the better chance your children have of having healthy teeth for life!
Of course, regardless of how good care you take of your teeth, this doesnâ€™t mean youâ€™ll never have problems with them. A family history of crowded or weak teeth may mean youâ€™ll require extra care from a dentist or orthodontist.
Another issue that a lot of young adults face is their wisdom teeth getting trapped, which is generally referred to as being impacted. This can cause a variety of issues, including pain and swelling. The solution to this problem is to have your wisdom teeth extracted.