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10 Teeth-tastic tips for the whole family

By Lifeline Hospital, Health and Wellness Partner


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Lifeline Hospital
Health and Wellness Partner


February 04, 2019

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile!” Annie was right on the money! No matter what clothes you wear, how you style your hair, or how much makeup you put on, it won’t matter much if your smile isn’t as dazzling. But your teeth are not just about looking good but feeling good too!

There are so many reasons for you and your family to take extra care of your teeth and gums. Not only do healthy teeth look good but they’re also important for eating (duh), toothaches are horrible and there are studies that show that gum disease can lead to other bodily problems like heart disease (yikes!) Source Here are ten tips to keep the whole family smiling!

1. Make brushing an early habit for the kids

Help your kids to understand the importance of clean teeth before they rot themselves with all the candy they’d want to eat. There are so many cases of children having tooth decay before they even start school. Even though kids start out with baby teeth doesn’t stop them from feeling the pain of cavities. As soon as the first tooth appears, you take care but once your kids hit around age 2 teach them to brush themselves, of course with your supervision.

2. Ask your dentist about dental sealants

Dental sealants are a thin protective coating that can be applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth. These, in turn, can prevent decay in the fissures and pits since we use our molars to chew and grind food; they’re more likely to get cavities.

3. Use fluoride in moderation

Fluoride is an ingredient in toothpaste and mouth rinses that help to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. But if you use too much of it, it can cause white spots on the teeth, especially in children. This is why you only give them a pea-sized amount.

4. Brush, floss and gargle at least twice a day

This is the basic of all basic words of advice. Don’t be lazy, skipping will just lead to gum disease, tooth decay and a mouth full of pain. Make sure you change your toothbrushes every three months. If you’re using electric toothbrushes replace the brush heads. In addition, if anyone gets sick, get a new brush as soon as they’re better. If anyone in your family has braces, make sure to get the special toothbrushes and any other oral hygiene tools they may need to get in between the braces.


5. Rinse your mouth out or chew sugar-free gum after eating

This can help prevent food from sitting in your teeth that could cause decay. Also chewing gum can increase saliva flow, which in turn naturally washes away the bacteria and neutralize any acid that could destroy enamel. Just make sure the gum is sugar-free, this is important!


6. Shield your teeth

Whether it’s sports or any other recreational activity, it’s all fun and games until some gets hurt. If anyone is on a sports team or have an active hobby, make sure they have a mouth guard. You could either buy one in a sporting goods store or ask your dentist to make a custom-fitted one.


7. No to tobacco in any and all forms

Everyone knows smoking and chewing tobacco is bad for you! There are no health benefits whatsoever! Apart from lung cancer, tobacco stains teeth cause gum disease and oral cancer. If anyone is smokes or chews, quit! Also, counsel your kids to NEVER start in the first place.


8. Eat healthy and smart

Essentially whatever we put in our mouths affects our overall health. Want healthy teeth and gums? Have a healthy and balanced diet! Get your grains, fruits and veggies, nuts, dairy etc. Also, load up on omega-3 fatty food as these can help reduce inflammation and reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

9. Avoid sugar

When broken down, sugar becomes an acid that erodes tooth enamel which will lead to decay. Sodas, juices, candies, chocolates etc. you get the idea are pretty much no no’s. But if you must, make sure to drink PLENTY of water and brush your teeth ASAP!

10. Visit your dentist

Your dentist is your best friend. They know what’s best for your teeth and will be the best person to ask to keep them healthy and sparkling. Generally, you and your family should have a check-up every 6 months but if you got some issues to check in more. After some time, plaque build-up is difficult to get rid of just by brushing or flossing so your dentist will give you a good clean up. They’ll also check in to see if you have any issues such as gum disease, bruxism (wear and tear from too grinding), interaction with medications which may cause mouth dryness and oral cancer.

A lifetime of healthy gums and teeth starts with a healthy habit of a few minutes of oral hygiene each day. Make an appointment with a dentist today to get you and your family on the right path. Remember; smile while you still have teeth!
 

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