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Dental Care Tips

Following simple dental care tips can help you and your family have brighter smiles and less dentist appointments.

By Alicia SpringerPublished 8 years ago 7 min read

Statistics show that a person with a healthy mouth and gums is more likely to have better overall health than a person with even a minor oral problem. Although clinical research on the effects that certain foods have on teeth and gums isn't concrete, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaque is the enemy and the best way to beat it is with thorough brushing and flossing.

According to a survey done by Louis Harris and Associates for Teledyne Water Pik, most Americans know about good dental care, but fail to practice it. In fact, while most Americans don't believe they will get gum disease, half of the adult population has already experienced the first symptom, bleeding gums. Unless you are one of the one-in-a-million people who grow a third set of teeth during adulthood, you're going to want to hold on to yours for as long as possible. You'll also want to train your kids how to hold on to theirs. Here are some dental care tips for each stage of life.

Photo via Pretty Mom Guide

The Earlier, The Better

Early childhood is the place to start, even before your baby has teeth. After feeding, wipe the baby's gums with a washcloth to clear away food and stimulate gums (this also helps strengthen the gums so they won't be quite so sore when the teeth come through). When the baby teeth make their debut use a soft bristle brush and plain water. Another way to fend off the cavity monster is to give your child a bottle of water instead of milk or juice at bedtime.

Your baby's first visit to the dentist probably came around his first birthday, but by the time your child is two-and-a-half or three, their real responsibilities start. You may want to introduce their first "very own toothbrush" at a special event like a birthday, making it a present. You can teach them how to brush, or brush with your child. You'll need to brush any missed spots. Your child won't be able to brush entirely on their own with no supervision until around seven.

As your child's permanent teeth come in the consequences of neglected teeth and gums can be felt for decades. Unfortunately, kids will be kids, so dentists have developed a process that is 100 percent effective at cavity prevention. The dentist applies a clear liquid called a sealant to the back teeth, which dries to seal the teeth, protecting them from decay. Also, watch out for kids chewing on ice. The combination of hardness and cold are double trouble to protective enamel, which is irreplaceable once damaged or chipped.

Photo via Smile Solutions

Greater with Age

As kids move into adolescence, dental care tips become even more imperative. The hormonal changes of adolescence can aggravate gum tissue, along with the snacks that teenagers love too much. It's a critical time for tooth care. Kids with braces must be especially diligent and experiment with the most effective way to brush. This is a good time to introduce an anti-plaque rinse that would have been too strong for a child's taste.

Many people believe that the need for proper cleaning declines as they grow into adulthood. However, a good oral workout seven days a week is just as important as you age. From age thirty-five, your incidence of secondary decay, or cavities around fillings, significantly increases. If you plan to keep your teeth for the rest of your life, don't try to ignore them at any point.

Photo via Rosenberg Smiles

Tips to Impress Your Dentist

Dental appointments can be scary at times, especially when you sit on that chair with a bright light shinning right above your head. Often times, it becomes frustrating when your dentist scrapes between your teeth only for your gums to start bleeding.

Why impress your dentist? Impressing your dentist means surprising them with strong, healthy, and cavity-free teeth every time you attend a dental appointment. This is very important, as your dentist will not only commend you for a job well done but will also give you advice on what to do in order to maintain healthy teeth.

In addition to this, keeping your teeth clean prevents costly dental care and makes your appointments more enjoyable. To achieve all these, follow these dental care tips to help you impress your dentist on the next appointment.

Floss Daily

According to David Genet—a periodontist in Aventura, Florida—brushing your teeth with a normal toothbrush is not enough to remove all food particles hidden in profile places of your teeth and gums. Over time, bacteria will start to accumulate in these areas, since they’ve found a good feeding ground, which eventually causes tooth decay and dental diseases. To avoid this, flossing at least once a day helps remove all food and plaque from your teeth eliminating chances of tartar formation and tooth decay.

DenTek Floss Picks are one of the best dental floss choices to consider. They are designed with a unique handle and angled head to remove food particles from profile areas and tight spaces while protecting your sensitive gums. They have a silky comfort which protects your back teeth and a cool minty flavor which leaves your mouth fresh after every flossing process. They are great to use on the go or to keep at home in the bathroom drawer.

Don't Forget Your Tongue!

Brushing your tongue regularly is another tip to impress your dentist. Your tongue is a breeding place for most bacteria in your dental cavity. Even after brushing your teeth thoroughly, your chances of contracting a gum or tooth infection are still high due to potential plague buildup on your tongue. To combat this, use a scraper, as it helps to scrap off bacteria buildup, remove coatings on the surface of your tongue, and eliminate bad breath.

With a sleek design, the Tongue Cleaner scrapes your tongue to reduce bacteria and improve oral hygiene. According to studies, the primary cause of most dental diseases is the tongue. When you’re asleep your tongue accumulates films of debris and bacteria, which make it hard to maintain a fresh breath even after brushing. Therefore, scrubbing your tongue with a Tongue Cleaner helps to eliminate these bacteria to give you a superior oral hygiene all day long.

Replace Your Toothbrush

You need to replace your toothbrush sooner than you think. Although most dentists suggest you replace a brush every three to four months, this rule can differ from person to person. The best rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush immediately after it starts showing signs of tear. Old toothbrushes are not only ineffective but also play a major role in spreading infections and other dental diseases.Always remember to replace your toothbrush when you discover it has fraying bristles or after recovering from sickness.

Colgate's 360° Adult Full Head Toothbrush is the best bacterial remover in the market today. Designed with unique surround bristles which remove 96 percent of cheek and tongue bacteria, most dentists have approved its performance, stating that it’s three times more effective as a stain remover than ordinary toothbrushes. The package comes with four soft, tightly packed toothbrushes, but make sure you replace them as soon as they start to wear.

Chew Gum

While it’s not always possible to brush your teeth between meals, keeping a pack of sugar free gum around can help you combat cavities and bacteria in your mouth. Since bacteria mostly feed on sugar compounds lingering from food, chewing gums with less sugar may help remove these bacteria and make it easier to brush. Sugar-free gum also increases the flow of saliva in our mouths. According to Joan Corgen, the president of American Academy of Periodontology, saliva contains natural antibacterial properties which help to reduce the bacteria that cause gingivitis and tooth decay.

Orbit Peppermint Sugar-free Gum is among the best gum to give you a brushed clean feeling. This gum has been tested and approved by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs for playing a vital role in reducing bacteria and gum infections. Orbit Peppermint Sugar-free Gum is available in different pack sizes, all of which fit well into your purse, backpack, or office drawer.

Consider Electric Options

Many people prefer using electric toothbrushes over manual brushes, often because these brushes resemble the tools that dentists use to clean your teeth. These brushes are designed to reach profile areas and tight spaces where normal brushes can’t clean. Dentists recommend a free app called Brush DJ which plays music for two minutes to help you monitor the brushing time.

Waterpik is among the best manufacturers of electric toothbrushes in the arena. With the release of the Complete Care by Waterpik, brushing and flossing became more simplified. Designed with a unique combination of water pressure and pulsation, Complete Care makes it easy to double clean your teeth, removing all harmful bacteria effortlessly. This toothbrush is easy to use and is most suited for people with sensitive teeth or those with implants, braces, or periodontal pockets.


About the Creator

Alicia Springer

Mother of two. Personal trainer. Fitness is about determination, not age.

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