If you want to keep smiling with a healthy and well functioning set of pearly whites, follow these easy tips to help you keep your teeth healthy.
1. Brush at least twice a day.
The best time to brush teeth is at the start and end of each day or after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristle toothbrushes are kinder on your gums. Toothbrushes should be changed 3-4 times a year.
2. Start kids on a dental regimen early on.
One in four young children develops signs of tooth decay before they start school. Half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have cavities. Start with a regimen when the first tooth appears, using a super soft brush or cloth to clean teeth until the age of two when they can begin brushing for themselves, under your careful supervision.
3. Use fluoridated toothpaste.
Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay. Many people drink water that is fluoridated, but if yours is not there is a specialized fluoride application that can be placed on your teeth. Many toothpastes and mouth rinses contain fluoride – but be careful not to use too much as it can cause white spots on teeth.
4. Seal your teeth.
Permanent molars come in around age 6. Thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent decay in the pits and fissures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sealants can significantly reduce caries. Yet only one in three U.S. kids receives dental sealants. Talk to your dental professional.
5. Floss your teeth daily.
Use a slow and gentle sawing motion when flossing at least once, if not twice a day and especially when recognizing food debris in your teeth.
6. Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices.
Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.
7. Limit sugary foods.
That gummy worm and all the sugar gets lodged in your teeth and creates a cavity playground.
8. Protect your teeth from injury.
Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
9. Try to save a knocked out tooth.
If possible, hold the tooth back in place while you seek immediate dental advice. If this is not possible, wrap the tooth in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental help as soon as possible.
10. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food.
If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
11. See your dentist for regular check-ups.
You should also book an appointment at Iowa Pediatric Dental Center if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.
Dental health doesn’t have to be difficult, following these simple steps you can ensure your best dental health and smile for years to come!