Oral Health: Tooth Care at any Age

Oral Health: Tooth Care at any Age

Allegra Falconer 

Making good oral health habits today can save a lot of strife and money down the road when it comes to your mouth and teeth. Good oral health care includes brushing and flossing each day and visiting the dentist twice a year.

Babies and Children

Oral Health: Tooth Care at any Age

Most babies have no teeth showing at birth, but after several months the first set of teeth start to emerge. Babies use their teeth for the same things adults do for chewing food, to help speech, and, of course to make an attractive smile. Baby teeth also help the second set of teeth to come in straight by holding a place for them.

Child tooth care:

  • Gently brush the new teeth with a clean, moist cloth. As the child gets older you can switch to a children’s toothbrush.
  • Toothpaste is not necessary for children under 2 years. Water is sufficient, but if you prefer using toothpaste, only use fluoride free varieties.
  • Avoid letting a baby fall asleep with a bottle in her mouth as sugars in the milk or juice can stain teeth and cause cavities called “baby-bottle tooth decay.”
  • Allowing older children to eat candy can cause cavities. Instead, provide snacks low in sugar like crackers and cheese, vegetables, and even fruit. Save candy for special occasions and have them brush after eating it.
  • Guide children as they brush to insure that they do a good job. For younger children, œcheck their teeth after they ve brushed and do a once over yourself.
  • Regular dentist visits are important for children, too. Most dentists will provide œhappy visitsfor children at age one and two and real checkups starting at age three.

Teens

Taking care of your teeth is important for keeping a nice smile, good breath, and to avoid cavities. To keep your mouth and teeth healthy, do these things:

  • Brush your teeth two or three times a day after meals.
  • Flossing your teeth once a day cleans between teeth where a brush doesn’t reach.
  • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco — it will cause tooth stains, give you bad breath, and is bad for your overall health.
  • Wear appropriate head protection while playing contact sports. Hokey players may be cute, but it is not because they have missing teeth.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for cleaning and to make sure you have no cavities or other problems. Fixing issues early on will be a lot easier than later after letting the problem progress.

Adults

Good dental health care as an adult will help you keep your teeth, gum disease, and other dental problems. Follow these tips for healthy teeth and gums:

  • Brush your teeth two or three times a day after meals with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing your teeth once a day cleans between teeth where a brush can’t reach.
  • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
  • If you take medicines that may damage your teeth, ask your doctor what to do to minimize problems.
  • Be aware of your mouth and notice spots or sores that don’t heal, sore gums or other changes to your inner cheeks, tong, gums and teeth. Mention anything unusual to your dentist.
  • Visit a dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning.

Good oral health is important at any age. Starting oral health care habits young will set you up for a lifetime with healthy teeth.