How to take care of your teeth from childhood and keep them for life
Look after your teeth and they will look after you. It is important to start oral hygiene early in life from when the first baby tooth erupts.
Children who are taught from an early age to take care of their teeth and mouth will be more likely to continue these good habits throughout their lives.
Baby tooth brushes are soft and only require the tiniest dot of baby toothpaste as babies cannot spit out and rinse their mouths. A baby should be registered at the dentist as soon as their teeth start to come through.
It is widely thought now that bad dental hygiene can lead to heart and blood disorders because bacteria can get into the bloodstream through the gums. So it is especially important to look after your gums as well. Gums also support the teeth so if they are not in good condition teeth can become loose and eventually fall out.
Adults can have corrective treatment too, not just children. It is never too late to improve your teeth.
It is never too early for a visit to the dentist. Baby should be registered with a dentist as soon as he/she cuts their first couple of teeth. The child will soon become used to visiting the dentist and less likely to develop a fear or phobia of going to the dentist.
A child’s dentist will know when a child’s teeth are in need of some extra help, meaning that the child needs to see an othodontist about correcting the irregular, overcrowded (or both) teeth. It is important that treatment begins as soon as is necessary. By reducing the amount of teeth in an overcrowded mouth enables the child to better look after his/her teeth. This in the long run will be advantageous to keeping hold of one’s teeth, hopefully for life.
A small tooth brush should be soft / medium, never hard as it could damage the gums. There are many childrens brushes and childrens toothpaste on the market. Only a very small amount of toothpaste is required on a child’s toothbrush as they cannot spit out properly and may be tempted to swallow it.
It is important to establish a routine of cleaning in-between the teeth and gums. This can be done by flossing (a thin waxed or un-waxed thread) with thin floss or wide floss (for people with larger gaps between their teeth). Interdens brushes (small brushes of different thicknesses) Then brush teeth afterwards or rinse your mouth with water or a mouth wash.
Looking after your gums is integral to keeping hold of your teeth for life. The gums support teeth and have a rich blood supply. Spongy bleeding gums need to be addressed in order to prevent the loss of teeth. Gums should be gently brushed when brushing your teeth to stimulate the blood supply.Gingivitis ( bleeding gums) can be of varying degrees. If your gums are red in colour this means that you need to brush them and your teeth more. Healthy gums should be pink.
It is a good idea to adopt a healthy eating style and cut down on sweet foods and drinks. If teeth are constantly bathed in sugar there is a risk of them developing caries (cavities).
By eating vitamin and mineral rich foods you will be nourishing your teeth and gums. Raw foods too are good for the teeth and gums such as carrot, apples, celery etc. giving the teeth and gums a workout as you eat them as well as providing nutrients. You may feel the need to take supplements if you think that you are not getting the required nutients, however these should be taken with food to optimize their benefits and should never be taken instead of eating the correct foods.
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol also contributes to teeth and mouth problems. Nicotene from cigarettes stains teeth and all the other ingredients can result in oral cancers.