The moment those tiny pearls emerge and make its grand entrance in the first few months of life, they immediately require proper care and cleaning. Some would ask why there is a need to care for them when they will be replaced by permanent teeth sooner or later. Well, there’s a very good reason for this. Decay and loss of the first teeth can deform the mouth perpetually because they hold a place for the permanent teeth. Your baby will need these primary teeth in their young years for eating, chewing, and biting. Not only do bad teeth inhibit good nutrition, it also distresses the development of a child’s speech and appearance that contribute to a child’s self-esteem.
Basically, it is important to start early and form a habit in caring for the teeth. As a parent, you don’t just care for your own teeth, you also have to care for children’s teeth and this may start as early as babyhood. All the members of the family need to know the basics in order to help maintain the family’s oral health, it is also important to know the basic care and tips for the teeth. Having said that, here are the basics of oral health care:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day– and it’s not just as simple as giving your teeth a quick pass. There are guides on how to properly brush the teeth. Brushing the teeth requires at least 2 minutes of brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride plays an important role in protecting the teeth from cavities when food and bacteria builds up in the mouth after eating. It protects the teeth from acid damage and makes the enamel stronger.
In terms of properly brushing the teeth, use a gentle sweeping motion against the gum line in a circular or back and forth motion. Make sure that you brush in the outer and inner side of the teeth and do not forget to clean those hard to reach areas. Do not scrub your teeth! It is also important to choose a good toothbrush with soft bristles that can gently and effectively clean the teeth. Electric brushes are great, too.
2. Flossing regularly– just like massaging the gums, flossing not only gets rid of food or germs in those hard to reach areas, it also stimulates blood flow and promotes healthy gums. There are also guidelines in flossing the teeth. It should be done regularly at least once a day and with at least 18 inches of dental floss. Gently glide the floss in between the teeth while making sure that you sweep near the gum line. Use a back and forth motion while cleaning in between the teeth as you move from tooth to tooth. Taking a few minutes of your time each day to floss would give you a long term benefit of being at the risk of dental problems.
3. Avoid sweets– avoid sugary drinks that cause cavities as well. Choose nutritious foods like fruits instead. Opt for less sugary snacks in order to lessen the risk of cavities. Cavity build up may cause tooth decay, which leads to bad breath. Once cavities are left untreated, it may cause painful abscess and will eventually need tooth extraction.
4. Visit the dentist regularly– at least twice a year to have your teeth checked and have regular and professional cleaning. In choosing the right dentist for your family, it is important to pick someone you and your family is comfortable with. Remember, it is a long-term health care partner that you are looking for.
Choose a dentist who is affiliated and accredited by a dental association. It may also be helpful to choose a dentist whose office is located near your home or at least convenient to visit. Do not be afraid to ask questions especially when you need to undergo surgical procedures or the latest technological procedures in dental care.
Discuss dental home remedies with your dentist. There are a lot of other minor issues that we may want to ask our dentists such as relieving tooth aches or easing pain after tooth extractions, teeth whitening, installing braces, etc.
Pregnant mothers also have to take care of their own oral and dental health to prevent risks to their unborn babies. Post pregnancy care should also be observed. Studies have shown that pregnancy causes hormonal changes to a woman’s body and may add risk to gum disease, so moms should also go for a regular check ups during and after pregnancy since there is also a link between oral health during pregnancy and the early development stages of the baby.
It is beneficial to equip yourself with the basic dos and don’ts of oral health care but it is not enough that you just learn about family guide to oral health. Practicing these habits is what matters most. Start the habit while the children are still young in order to avoid complications in the future.