Oral Hygiene Tips to Keep Teeth Healthy at Any Age
Good oral hygiene is important at every stage of your life. It can help reduce the risk of a wide variety of medical and dental conditions in the future. In fact, your risk for developing conditions like gingivitis, tooth or root decay, diabetes, and heart disease actually decreases when you practice good dental hygiene.
Powerful Tips for Oral Hygiene
Whether you are caring for an infant or children, you’re in the process of building your own family, or you are in the more mature stages of life, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that you are practicing excellent oral hygiene.
Oral Care for Infants
Even though most babies don’t start getting their teeth until they are a few months old, practicing good dental hygiene is essential soon after birth. Regularly massage and clean your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth or a finger cot from the very beginning.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious problem and can result in painful cavities. It is caused by extended exposure to pooled milk, fruit juices, and other sugary substances. If your baby must sleep while sucking or drinking, offer only plain water or a pacifier instead.
Dental Hygiene for Young Children
Research reveals that children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to suffer from cavities later in life.
- Brush teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for small children.
- Begin using non-fluoride toothpaste at about the age of two. When your child is old enough to avoid swallowing it, you can switch to fluoridated toothpaste.
- It’s fine to allow your child to brush his or her own teeth, just be sure to brush them a second time until the child is old enough to practice good brushing techniques. Most kids are ready to brush their own teeth at about age eight.
Good Oral Hygiene is Essential During Pregnancy
Teeth and gums need extra attention during pregnancy. Hormonal changes that occur while a woman is pregnant can cause a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis.” To reduce the effects of pregnancy gingivitis, pregnant women should:
- Brush teeth at least twice daily for a minimum of two minutes.
- Remember to floss between teeth each day.
- Consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash to help control inflammation and dental plaque.
- Eat a nutritious diet and stay hydrated. Chew sugar-free gum to enhance saliva production.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Older Adults
As people age, they become more prone to dental health problems. In fact, 75 percent of adults who are age 60+ only have some of their natural teeth. Severe gum disease, which can contribute to the loss of your teeth, is common among more mature adults, can be prevented and even reversed with good dental hygiene practices.
- Brush your teeth and gums regularly using the proper techniques—even if you have dentures.
- Be aware of the effects of some medications. If you suspect that your medication could be affecting your oral health, speak with your doctor.
- Avoid the use of tobacco products. In any form, tobacco has been linked to severe teeth staining and mouth and throat cancer.
Oral Hygiene for All Ages
While proper at-home care is vital for maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile, you should also remember to visit your dentist regularly. Have a full oral hygiene treatment performed twice a year, and be sure to point out any concerns you might have.
Contact Central Florida Periodontics and Implantology to learn more about proper oral hygiene techniques and to schedule your oral hygiene treatment and individual assessment today.