Oral Health

The Ultimate Guide to Great Oral Health for Your Family

Keeping your family’s teeth and gums in tip-top condition is important. Problems with teeth can be painful, unsightly and expensive to fix. So, why not keep your family on track for healthy teeth and gums by following our ultimate guide to oral health.

Brushing

We all know that brushing our teeth is important, but a surprising number of people don’t know how to brush their teeth correctly, so don’t get the full benefit from the time they are putting in. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day, one of those times should be just before you go to bed for the night. The other time can be at whichever part of the day suits you.

Your toothbrush should have medium to soft bristles. If the bristles are too firm, they can cause damage to your gums, so go softly. Your toothpaste should contain fluoride. For adults, look for a toothpaste that is at least 1,350 ppm. You want to use about a pea-sized blob of toothpaste each time you brush.

Spend around two minutes brushing your teeth. Two minutes is a surprisingly long time, so you might want to use an egg timer to make sure you brush for the whole time. Make sure you get all the surfaces of your teeth; it can be easy to miss some spots, especially behind your front teeth.

Once you are done brushing, it is best not to rinse your mouth with water. Doing so can dilute the fluoride from your toothpaste making it less effective. If you wish to use mouthwash, do it at a separate time from when you brush your teeth.

Flossing

Regular flossing is a great way to remove plaque from along your gum line. Removing this plaque can be key to preventing gum disease and as a bonus can keep bad breath at bay.

The best time to floss is before you brush your teeth that way when all the plaque you loosen will be fully removed from your teeth.

Both floss and interdental brushes work in the same way, but you may find it more effective to use interdental brushes if you have slightly larger gaps between your teeth. Whichever you choose, you want to ensure you make around ten strokes between each tooth, moving up and down from your gums to the top of your teeth.

Diet

We all know that we shouldn’t overeat candy and drink sugary beverages. Keeping our teeth healthy is another reason to help keep ourselves from overindulging.

You especially want to avoid high sugar foods and drinks in the evening. Your teeth are more vulnerable at night time because you are producing less saliva. It is also a good idea to not eat in the hour before you brush your teeth. Otherwise, you will just be rubbing the sugar all over your teeth!

Regular Checkups

For most people, a visit to the dentist is recommended every six months, although depending on your circumstances you may be advised differently. The reasons for these visits are so your dentist can check your teeth are healthy and catch signs of trouble early.

During your visit, your dentist will check the health of your whole mouth. They will give you the chance to tell them about any problems you might be experiencing or ask any questions you may have. If necessary your dentist can give you advice about the effects of diet, smoking or your brushing habits.

Children’s Teeth

It is important to instill good dental habits in your children when they are young, so dental care becomes a priority. As soon as your child gets their first teeth at around six months of age, you should start brushing them.

You can, but you don’t need to, use a lower strength toothpaste for children under the age of six, but you should ensure it contains at least 1000ppm of fluoride. Until your child is over the age of three, you will only need to use a smear of toothpaste, after that it is a pea sized blob.

It is recommended you supervise your children as they brush their teeth to ensure they are doing it correctly. Having them watch what they are doing in a mirror will help them to learn how to brush effectively.

If you are worried your child might be afraid of visiting the dentist, you could bring them with you to your appointment. This will give them an opportunity to see what happens, and to realize there is nothing to be afraid of when it is their turn to get a checkup.

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Emily Harrison’s passion for the medical field began when she started visiting the chiropractor regularly as a child and wanted to know more about how it helped her back. Since then, she has researched and written extensively about different areas of medicine such as chiropractic care, obstetrics, anesthesiology, and dentistry. When she is not writing or researching, she enjoys baking and crossword puzzles.