Preventative Dentistry Tips
By J. Brent Gorrell on March 10, 2015
Most oral health problems stem directly from improper oral hygiene. Gum disease and tooth decay are two of the leading dental health issues that are easily prevented by following a good dental hygiene routine. General dentistry treatments, like regular dental exams and cleanings, are also key to preventing oral health issues. To find out how you can help prevent dental damage and keep your smile at its best, read these preventative dentistry tips from Mountain View dentist J. Brent Gorrell.
Preventative Dentistry Tips for Infants and Children
Dental damage that occurs in childhood can follow us into adulthood. Establishing good oral hygiene habits early in life is one of the best ways to help maintain a healthy smile as we grow. It's important for parents to become involved in their young children's dental hygiene habits as early as infancy to ensure good oral hygiene habits are developed. You can help your children prevent dental damage with these tips:
- Clean your infant's teeth after feedings: Once your baby begins to teeth, you must begin caring for your baby's new teeth. You can use a moist gauze pad or soft-bristled, children's toothbrush to gently clean your baby's teeth after feedings.
- Begin flossing early: Gum disease can strike at any age, so flossing should begin as soon as two teeth grow next to each other. Babies and young children will require parents to floss their teeth for them. This can be done by wrapping floss around two fingers or using flossing tools.
- Begin dental visits around the age of one: This is a good time to begin regular dental exams and cleanings. Seeing a dentist at a young age can also help reduce dental anxiety in children.
- Start using toothpaste around the age of two: Though you should check with your child's dentist before using fluoride toothpaste, most dentists recommend that children begin using a small amount of toothpaste around the age of two.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks should be limited in your child's diet because these types of foods and drinks can increase the risk of dental decay. Beware of fruit juices and cereals, as these are often loaded with sugar.
- Stop using sippy cups and bottles after the age of one: Sippy cups and bottles can lead to dental decay and cavities, especially when toddles are sent to nap with sippy cups or bottles filled with milk or juice.
- Brush twice a day: Children should brush twice a day for a full two minutes each brushing. Until your child is able to brush on his or her own, you will need to brush for him or her.
Preventative Dentistry Tips for Teens and Adults
Preventing dental damage requires a lifelong commitment. Beginning good oral hygiene habits in childhood can carry these skills into the teenage years and adulthood. Teens and adults can help prevent dental damage with these preventative dentistry tips:
- Brush at least twice a day: The teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes at least twice a day. When brushing, it's important to pay special attention to the gum line and back teeth, where plaque and tartar are most likely to develop.
- Floss at least once a day: Brushing alone can leave plaque, tartar, and bacteria between the teeth and below the gum line. Flossing is vital to removing debris from these areas.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: Dental exams and professional cleanings should be performed at least once every six months. These are important for catching damage at the earliest stages and preventing plaque and tartar buildup.
- Avoid sugary, acidic foods and drinks: Sugary, acidic foods and drinks, like sodas, coffee, wine, and citrus juices, can erode tooth enamel and lead to dental decay. Avoid these types of foods and drinks to help prevent enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about preventing dental damage, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorrell today!
Related to This
“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.