7 Tips for a Healthy Smile

Photo: Healthy SmileAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50 percent of adults who are 30 years or older and 70 percent of adults who are 65 years of age or older have some type of periodontal disease. Men tend to have periodontal disease at a higher rate than women do, 60 percent to 40 percent, respectively. Despite these statistics, periodontal and other oral diseases can be prevented. By teaching your children how to maintain their teeth now, you could encourage a lifetime of proper dental hygiene; thus, ensuring their smile remains vibrant and healthy.

Maintaining a beautiful smile means keeping your teeth clean and healthy through regular dental care and mindful food choices. Follow the 7 tips below to keep your entire family’s smiles healthy and vibrant.

7 Tips for Maintaining a Vibrant & Healthy Smile

1. Biannual Dental Visits to Detect Problems Early

Everyone in your family should be visiting your dentist every six months. This allows your dentist to detect problems early on. Thus, preventing tooth decay and/or addressing gum disease and other oral issues.

2. Using the Proper Technique is Essential

The proper dental hygiene techniques vary depending on the age of a person.  Make sure that you’re using proper techniques at the appropriate ages and helping your family members do the same.

  • A soft brush or damp cloth can be used to care for the gums and teeth of an infant;
  • toddlers frequently insist on brushing their teeth themselves, however, supervision is still necessary to ensure they address the hard to reach areas of the mouth; and
  • many times older children need to be reminded to take care of their teeth properly by both brushing and flossing twice a day.

3. Start Flossing Teeth Right Away

No one is ever too young to floss: As soon as your child has teeth that touch food or each other, plaque begins building up.  Teach them how to floss properly and instill that habit at an early age.

4. Use Sealants to Protect the Teeth

Once your child reaches the age of 6 and his or her permanent teeth begin emerging, you should consider visiting your dentist to inquire about the sealants available to protect the teeth. By having your dentist apply a sealant to your child’s teeth, this thin, protective coating can significantly reduce the incidence of tooth decay, keeping your child’s teeth healthy and strong.

5. Fluoride is Not an Option, But a Necessity

Fluoride is extremely important as it helps fight decay and strengthens tooth enamel. Although you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, additional fluoride can be helpful. Approximately ¾ of Americans drink fluoridated water. However, if your water does not contain fluoride, you should speak with your Lakeview dentist. There are special applications and fluoride supplements available that can keep your family’s teeth healthy and strong.

6. Healthy Snacks Can Contribute to Your Healthy Smile

Eating a well-balanced diet that consists of vegetables, fruits, grain and dairy products will help you keep your teeth strong and healthy. Avoiding excess consumption of sugary snacks and drinks is also recommended.

7. Rinse Your Mouth After Consuming Acidic Foods and Beverages

Tomatoes, oranges, limes, grapefruits and lemons are all acidic fruits: It is wise to rinse your mouth with water after you consume foods and beverages that contain them (i.e., orange juice, pasta sauce, lemonade, etc.). The acid from these fruits will eat away at the tooth enamel. In addition, soda/pop is acidic; hence, you should drink acidic beverages like these with a straw and rinse your mouth directly thereafter. Do not brush your teeth directly after consuming acidic foods, just rinse. The acid tends to soften the enamel of the teeth, which is why you just need to rinse, not brush.

Besides providing you with a beautiful smile, proper dental hygiene helps prevent gum disease, cavities and painful toothaches. If you reside in or around Chicago and you are looking for a gentle, caring and skilled family dentist, contact our office today. At Smile On, we provide services related to dental hygiene, crowns, bridges, dental fillings, dentures, dental implants and sleep apnea. We look forward to making you smile!