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Good Habits for Maintaining Healthy Teeth

Everybody likes a perfect smile. It is cute, alluring and always brightens up the mood. But discomfort and pain from a toothache and other dental concerns make people feel and look grumpy. And even during funny moments, these oral issues ruin your time and immediately dampen your spirits.

Our teeth are our key to a wonderful smile. But more than that, they are crucial to our oral health and overall well-being. Poor teeth lead to respiratory infections, joint disorders, teeth grinding and other conditions. With lousy habits resulting in bad teeth, you can expect more than just pulsing pain, tooth loss, plaque buildup, and difficulty brushing. According to the World Health Organization, severe tooth loss is a leading cause of Years Lived with Disability (YLD) for people in high-income nations.  

Apart from suffering the ugly effects of dental negligence, you would be surprised to cash out more money to treat oral issues. A visit to the dentist can cause you more expense than you would have with common disorders. In fact, dental treatment is around 5% of total health expenses and 20% of out-of-pocket health expenses in most high-income countries, according to the WHO. And the costs can go higher depending on how many teeth you need to fix and the type of dental procedure required.

As the cliche goes, prevention is better than cure. If you’ve experienced the horrors of bad teeth, then you are on a mission for history not to repeat itself with your children. You know as well that you have to start them early so they will feel responsible for their own oral care by introducing good habits early. The goal here is not just to save on possible health expenses but ultimately to maintain good teeth, which is the key to overall health. Here are several things to do to maintain good oral hygiene and bring out smiles from yourself and your children.

Brushing

Brushing is probably the most important part of oral hygiene. But brushing alone is not enough. As to frequency, your kids need to brush their teeth at least twice a day. It best to do it before going to bed as it removes the germs that accumulate during the day, and after meals as well. As to how long, it is necessary to brush thoroughly so let your kids brush for two to three minutes. It is also not enough to just brush the teeth. Brush the tongue as well to prevent bacteria build-up.

The toothbrush is also relevant. The brush needs to be effective in removing plaque which, if not removed, will lead to various tooth problems. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months to prevent the growth of microorganisms that could cause more harm than good. For the toothpaste, buy one with fluoride. This mineral helps strengthen tooth enamel and protects teeth from decay.

Flossing

Brushing does not get rid of 100% of the grime on your teeth. There are some areas that a toothbrush just can’t reach. This is where flossing comes in. Use dental floss to remove food particles that your toothbrush does not reach to avoid plaque build-up which leads to various oral problems. Flossing not only helps your teeth, it is also useful for keeping the gums in good health. In addition, brushing and flossing after meals can discourage any temptation to eat more, making it an effective way to control body weight.  

Rinsing

Mouthwash provides an extra layer of protection against tooth and gum disease and related conditions. This may be a general benefit, but rinsing with mouthwash offers more than just fresh breath. Like dental floss, mouthwash helps to reach areas that a toothbrush can’t go. Another apparent benefit is its ability to prevent the growth of bacteria by increasing the pH balance of the mouth. This is helpful in order to avoid the dreaded periodontal disease and the eventual loss of your teeth.  

Control sugary and acidic food and beverages

As much as you want to perfect brushing, flossing and rinsing, that is just half of your oral hygiene routine. The other half involves what you put in your mouth. Sugary and acidic food and beverages can actually damage the teeth. The choice of food and beverages you serve at home and the ones your kids eat and drink at school matters a lot for your oral health.

Dentists, experts and health professionals do not sugarcoat when they state that the consumption of sugary and acidic food and beverages can lead to damaged teeth, gums and many oral problems. They can destroy the enamel on your teeth which leads to cavities. Your child can lose all of his teeth just by eating sweets and drinking soda regularly. You wouldn’t want to have to find urgent dental care because of a sugar-induced toothache.

On the other hand, here are the food and drinks your family should consume to keep their teeth in good health. One is tea, which prevents bacterial growth inside the mouth. Another tooth-healthy food is cheese, which minimizes acid levels, thereby avoiding cavities. Foods that are high in calcium and phosphorus such as leafy vegetables, eggs and fish make the enamel healthy.

Do not smoke

Smoking doesn’t just kill the lungs or other respiratory organs. It also affects the teeth, and in the ugliest way. Yellow or brown stains, tooth loss, plaque build-up, and tartar are just some of the effects of smoking on the teeth. And these are just the mild ones. The worst-case scenario could lead to oral cancer.

Dental care should start from the first tooth and be maintained the rest of your life. Otherwise, your teeth will start decaying and falling out. The pain will be more severe, and the health expenses will escalate. Start the proper dental care routines when the kids are young. As they grow older, they won’t need fillings or any painful dental procedure to treat their teeth. And they can always have a happy and healthy smile.