Enjoy a Healthy Smile with these Preventative Dentistry Tips
By Stephen Rogers on February 13, 2015
Maintaining a healthy smile takes a lifelong commitment of good oral hygiene habits. Good oral hygiene prevents most oral health problems, like tooth decay and gum disease. General dentistry treatments are another important part of preventing dental problems and ensuring a healthy smile for years to come. Follow these preventative dentistry tips from Greater Long Island Dental to keep your smiles at its best.
Preventative Dentistry Tips for Babies and Children
Establishing a good oral hygiene routine in childhood is one of the best ways to ensure healthy teeth into adulthood. Very young children will require parental help, but by the age of five or six, children should be able to brush and floss without help. Here are some preventative dentistry tips specific to the needs of children:
- Babies need their teeth cleaned after feedings: Once a baby begins to teeth, it is important to begin appropriate oral hygiene practices. You can use a moist gauze pad or child-size, soft bristled toothbrush to gently clean the teeth. Cleanings should be done after each feeding to prevent early tooth decay.
- Start flossing as soon as teeth grow side by side: Tooth decay and gum disease can occur at any age, which is why flossing should begin as soon as your child grows teeth next to each other. Infants and toddlers will need parents to floss for them.
- Brush twice a day: It's just as important for children to brush twice a day as it for adults. Until your child is able to brush his or her own teeth, you will need to brush his or her teeth once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Begin regular dental exams at the age of one: Starting regular dental check-ups early, around the age of one, is important since most babies have a majority of their teeth by this time. It's also beneficial to get children to the dentist at a young age so they learn not to fear the dentist.
- Wean sippy cups and bottles by the age of one: Sippy cups and bottles can increase the risk of tooth decay in children. Children should be weaned off of sippy cups and bottles around the age of one.
- Begin using toothpaste around two years old: Most dentist recommend starting toothpaste use around the age of two. Check with your toddler's dentist before using fluoride toothpaste.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugar is one of the number one cause of cavities in children. Limit sugary foods and drinks, including fruit juice, to reduce the risk of dental decay.
Preventative Dentistry Tips for Teens and Adults
Practicing good oral hygiene in the teen and adult years is vital to maintaining a healthy smile for life. Teens and adults can help prevent oral health problems with these useful dental tips:
- Brush at least twice a day: Brush at least twice a day for a full two minutes each. Special care should be taken along the gum line and the back teeth.
- Floss at least once a day: Flossing is the best way to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay between teeth. Floss at least once, daily. Use up and down strokes alongside each tooth, and as far into the gum line as possible.
- See your dentist for regular check-up and cleanings: See your dentist at least once every six months for regular check-ups and professional cleanings.
- Drink plenty of water: Drink water at and between meals to help wash away food particles and bacteria from the mouth to reduce the risk of decay.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks: Avoid sugary foods and drinks to reduce your risk of tooth decay.
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For more information about preventative dentistry tips or to find out about available treatments, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
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