You have so many good reasons to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your sparkling smile speaks a lot about your overall health. What to do to maintain healthy teeth?

Good dental hygiene is all about strong teeth and healthy gums. It involves habits such as brushing and flossing daily and having regular dental checkups.

You need strong teeth to chew your food which can provide good nutrition. And avoid any kind of toothaches and discomfort. 

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And new research suggests that your tooth and gum disease can lead to other problems in the body. It can also lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Without treatment, your tooth decay or gum problems can lead to pain, problems with self-confidence, and finally, tooth loss. These issues together might lead to malnutrition, speech problems, and other challenges in your personal life.

Fortunately, there are very simple ways to keep your teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. Here are a few tips that can help you do so.

1. Start your child’s oral health early.

Despite great efforts in decay prevention, one in every four young children develops signs of tooth decay. Stats show that tooth decay in children even before they start going to school.

Unfortunately, 50% of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have cavities.

Hence dental care should begin as early as your child’s first tooth appears. This should be when they are usually around six months.

Baby teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft tooth brush. When your kid is around 2 years, you can let your kids try brushing for themselves. But strictly under your supervision.

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2. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables.

Processed and ready-to-eat foods are no doubt convenient, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth. 

Eating crunchy fruits such as pears, apples and celery give your mouth a good workout. Thus helping to clear away plaque and bacteria, besides providing a delicious source of fiber for your diet.

Parents should give their children harder-to-eat and chew foods at a younger age. This automatically develops a good habit of eating such fruits and veggies that require time to chew. 

So just say NO to mushy processed stuff, stop cutting things into tiny pieces, and get those jaws working. Eating fresh, crunchy fruits not only contains more healthy fiber, but it’s also the best choice for strong teeth. 

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3. Smart eating for healthy teeth.

At any age you need a healthy diet for your strong teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods should include grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products. 

A complete diet will provide all the nutrients you need. An omega-3 fatty acid found in fishes is helpful in reducing inflammation. This helps you lower your risk of gum disease.

Note that a variety of fruits and vegetables are good for you. Hence they should be a regular part of your healthy diet. But you also need to know that what you eat could also benefit your teeth

4. Avoid sugary and acidic foods.

When you eat surgery food, the bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars. These produce acids that can erode your tooth enamel, starting the tooth decay process. 

Sugary drinks, like soft drinks and fruit drinks, pose a special threat because you tend to sip them often. This gives rise to the acid levels over a long period of time. 

Carbonated drinks and sticky food make the matter worse. As they tend to stick on to the surface of your teeth. 

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5. Seal off trouble.

Your kid’s permanent molars come in around age 6. 

You can think of applying thin protective coatings on the chewing surfaces of their back teeth. This can prevent decay in the pits and fissures. 

Sealants can significantly reduce caries in your children. It is noticed that one in every three US kids receive dental sealants. Talk to your dentist about it.

6. Use enough fluoride for healthy teeth.

Fluorides are extensively used for oral health. Fluoride comes from an element in the soil called fluorine. Many experts believe that fluoride is very helpful in preventing cavities. They also strengthen your enamel, making it less prone to decay.  

Many people prefer drinking water that is fluoridated. If you’re not drinking water that is fluoridated, talk to your dentist. He might suggest putting a fluoride application on your teeth. 

Many kinds of toothpastes and mouth rinses today contain a high percentage of fluoride. In fact, fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash are easily available these days.

However, fluoride should be used sparingly in young children. You should use no more than a pea-sized dab on your kid’s toothbrush. Too much fluorides can cause white spots on the teeth.

7. Drink more water instead of sugary drinks.

Water is believed to be the best beverage for your overall health, including your oral health. Also, as a thumb rule – drink water after every meal.

Water can immediately help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods in between brushes.

It is a good idea to quickly rinse out your mouth with water after your meal. One of the easiest ways to instantly boost your oral health. 

Remember rinsing with water is better for your teeth than brushing. In order to avoid any kind of damage to your enamel.

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8. Brush twice a day and floss daily.

As you already know, gum disease and tooth decay remain big problems. Not only for children but for older people as well. 

Surprisingly, three-fourths of teenagers have bleeding gums, according to statistics. Hence brushing and flossing becomes all the more important.

Your toothbrushes should be changed at least 3 to 4 times a year. Teenagers who have braces may need to use special toothbrushes. They must also use other oral hygiene tools to brush their teeth and keep their braces clean.

Talk to your dentist and learn how teeth straightening can affect your dental health.

Older people with arthritis or other problems might have trouble holding a toothbrush or using floss. Hence in such a scenario, you need to find an alternative way to brush – maybe you can use an electric toothbrush. 

9. Do not smoke for healthy teeth.

Do you know that smoking harms your body’s immune system? This makes it difficult for your body to heal tissues, even those in your mouth. 

Regular smoking can be a risk factor leading to gum disease and oral cancer in the long run. People who smoke may experience slow healing after any dental procedure.

Smoking habits also affect your appearance leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue and can give your bad breath.

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10. See your dentist at least twice a year.

Remember your own everyday habits are extremely crucial to your overall oral health. Even the most regular brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. 

You should at least visit your dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Your dentist will remove scales and look for tooth cavities. They will also be able to spot potential issues and offer appropriate treatment solutions.

During a routine exam, your dentist can remove any plaque build-up that you can’t brush or floss away. They will also look for signs of decay. A regular dental exam can also help spot early signs of mouth cancer. Nine out of ten cases of oral cancer can be treated if detected early enough. Undetected oral cancer can spread easily to other parts of your body and cause other complications.

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Healthy Teeth – Tips for Kids

A child’s primary teeth or baby teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth. Baby teeth help a child chew and speak. 

If your child loses a baby tooth, this can disrupt the space in the mouth. Eventually, making it difficult for the adult tooth to develop correctly.

Keeping this in mind, it is best to introduce good dental care for your child during infancy. The following practices will help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy:

1 Wipe your baby’s gums with a warm, wet cloth every day. This would help remove sugar from the gums. 

2 Your babies and toddlers should not go to bed with bottles or sippy cups in their mouth. This sugary stuff can cause tooth decay if they remain on the teeth for extended periods. Hence aim to stop the usage of bottles at an early stage.

3 Once your baby has teeth, brush them twice a day with a soft baby toothbrush. Children aged 3 to 6 years may use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

4 You should brush your child’s teeth until they can clean their teeth on their own. 

5 Keep the toothpaste out of children’s reach when it is not in use.

6 Your child should visit a dentist every 6 months. 

7 As parents, you should not share eating utensils with your child. These actions can pass your cavity-causing bacteria to your child.

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Summary

You should practice good dental care from infancy to adulthood. These good oral habits can keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

Brushing and flossing daily, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and having regular dental checkups are a few of the key factors to avoid dental issues. It can also benefit your overall health.