Making sure that your children are happy and healthy should be every parent’s number one priority. They need to consume a nutritious diet, get plenty of exercise, stimulate their brains, play creatively, keep themselves clean, and maintain good oral hygiene. These things are all equally important, but today we’re going to be focusing specifically on dentistry.
Most parents struggle to upkeep good oral health in their families, mainly because they don’t know enough about the subject matter themselves. As a result, their children can develop life-long problems with their teeth and gums. So, it’s essential to properly educate yourself on oral hygiene and ensure your family is taking good care of their mouths. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is the simplest and most crucial step in maintaining good oral hygiene. Children and parents alike should brush their teeth at least twice a day, every day. They should typically do so after eating breakfast in the morning and just before going to bed at night. Dentists also recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes.
Many people find brushing their teeth a cumbersome activity and only do so sporadically. However, this is the number one way to ruin your oral hygiene. Plaque accumulates on your teeth throughout the day. If left untreated, this plaque will calcify into tartar and cause more problems down the line, such as gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque usually takes 24 to 72 hours to harden into tartar. You need to brush several times during this period to make sure you’ve got everything off the surface of your teeth.
The same applies to your children. We recommend teaching them a good brushing technique. This consists of holding the toothbrush at an angle to reach the gum and use a circular motion. Be sure to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Don’t immediately wash out your mouth after finishing. Instead, spit out any excess toothpaste, then allow the remaining fluoride to sit on your teeth for a while. It’s also important to wait 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth.
Flossing Your Teeth
Don’t underestimate the importance of flossing your teeth. Most people neglect to floss and instead focus on brushing, thinking this will prevent oral health problems. Unfortunately, it won’t. Everyone needs to floss their teeth at least once a day. It’s best to do so in the evening after brushing your teeth before bedtime.
But why is flossing so important? Well, it removes the plaque and food that get trapped between your teeth. Dental plaque causes sugars to turn into an acid, which will create cavities, decay, or allow an infection to enter the gum (gum disease). Long-term complications can evolve from these things. Fortunately, the family dentist can help with tooth cavity treatment.
A toothbrush alone cannot dislodge the plaque stuck between your teeth. Only flossing can. So, let’s discuss a good flossing technique. Firstly, you should take 30cm of dental floss in your hand and ensure the string is taut. Slip the floss between your teeth, as far as it will go. Move the floss with strokes up and down, at least 8 times, for each tooth.
The lifestyle and eating habits of your family will also have a massive impact on their oral hygiene. This is because what you eat and drink can cause tooth decay if you’re not careful. Bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption will also affect.
Regarding what you eat and drink, you should avoid sugary substances. Though our bodies need sugar, most people consume too much of it. Not only is this bad for our physical health but also our oral health. That is because sugars combine with the bacteria and saliva in our mouths to create plaque, eventually dissolving the enamel and leading to decay.
These are the main foods that your children should avoid: sweets, chocolate, cake, cookies, pastries, puddings, table sugar, breakfast cereals, jams, syrups, ice cream, and dried fruit. Meanwhile, the main beverages they should avoid include soft drinks, fizzy drinks, milkshakes, fruit juice, smoothies, and sweetened tea or coffee.
Regarding a healthy lifestyle, your family dentist can provide specialist advice. They will typically avoid smoking because this can stain your teeth and increase your chances of developing gum disease. It would help if you also discourage your children from drinking alcohol because this increases the risk of developing mouth cancer. Some alcoholic drinks are also packed with sugar. Parents might also want to discourage their children from using chewing gum unless it’s sugarless.
One of the essential steps in maintaining your family’s oral hygiene is to book regular check-ups with the dentist. At the very least, you should see the dentist twice every year (or once every six months). Depending on your children’s oral needs, your appointments might have to be more frequent than this.
Dental care is essential because this means that your dentist can detect minor problems before they develop into something worse, making the issue easier to treat. When you have children, you need to stay on top of these things because they are vital in their growth. What happens to their teeth now might even affect their oral hygiene in adulthood.
For example, a dentist would treat an underbite or overbite and any overlapping or gap-filled teeth with things like Invisalign braces. They are also able to perform dental restoration and root canals on your children. That means they can fix any damaged teeth that might have been caused by cavities, tooth trauma, chipping, ectara. If your children happen to suffer from sleep apnea treatment, dentists can treat this, too.