Oral Health Advice
When focusing on oral diseases, the most common ailments are gum disease and tooth decay. When you regularly brush your teeth, you can reduce your risk of gum disease. Tooth decay can also be combated by limiting your sugar intake.
Oral diseases can be prevented, you just need to take proactive measures. Flossing and brushing regularly, has a positive impact on your oral health. By incorporating the following measures into your routine, you can improve your overall oral health.
It is important to not only encourage people to floss, but it’s essential that they floss the right way. When flossing everyday, the bacteria and plaque is removed that cannot be reached by a toothbrush. Since plaque begins developing each and every day, it’s important to floss everyday as well.
When you floss at least once a day, the plaque does not have a chance to harden. It’s best to get into the habit of flossing. Once incorporated into an individual’s routine, it becomes a regular part of one’s morning and night regimen.
While preparing to floss, it’s important that you take a fairly substantial length of floss (approximately 18-inches). This piece should now be wrapped around your middle fingers, leaving a space of around 2-inches between each hand.
Hold the string with your thumb and forefingers, letting them guide the floss. When flossing between each tooth, the thumb will aid in flossing the top teeth, while the forefingers will aid in flossing the bottom teeth.
Wrap the floss around each tooth, making a C-shape (allowing the floss to clean the whole tooth, as well as the gum line). Repeat with each tooth, ensuring that the back molars are not missed. Then, it will be time to brush. When you brush your teeth after flossing, you’re more effective in terms of preventative measures.
In an ideal world, you would brush after every meal. Minutes after you eat, bacteria is already attacking your teeth and gums. Regular brushing helps to remove this bacteria, preventing oral health complications. Individuals should be brushing their teeth a minimum of twice daily. Once in the morning, then once before bed.
If possible, this should be increased throughout the day, based on eating patterns. Although brushing your teeth isn’t a complicated task, there’s a right way to do it. When you brush the correct way, you increase the effectiveness of each brush.
When brushing, the toothbrush itself should be at a 45 degree angle. The bristles should be directed to where your gums meet your teeth. In a gentle, circular motion, massage lightly. Remember, brushing hard is not more effective. In fact, it can recede one’s gums after years of aggressive brushing.
Make sure that every side of each tooth is targeted. While brushing your teeth, the process should not be rushed. Overall, one toothbrushing session should last a minimum of 3 minutes. You can time yourself, ensuring that you’ve brushed effectively.
Some more basic tips include:
- Changing your brushing pattern. When you brush the same way each time, you may be missing critical spots. When you change your pattern, this allows you to access those missed spots.
- It is recommended that you change your toothbrush at least every 3 months. The bristles become worn, making them less effective.
- As soon as a child gets their first tooth, brushing should begin.
- Toothpaste with fluoride is recommended. While focusing on children under 6 years of age, their toothpaste should contain at least 1000 parts per million of fluoride. This value will be written on the tube. Parents should continue assisting their child until they’re at least 7. The ‘timing system’ works well for children, especially if it’s in the form of a fun song.
- Once children are over the age of 7 (as well for adults), toothpaste should contain around 1400 parts per million of fluoride.
Toothbrushing Tips for Parents
As a parent or caregiver, it is important to help children develop strong, healthy teeth and gums. The following tips will help parents brush their children’s teeth at various stages.
1. Brushing Baby Teeth
Once a child’s first tooth erupts, it is time to start brushing. Parents should not share toothbrushes from other family members, due to bacteria, as well as the size of the brush. Babies need a baby-sized toothbrush, which is soft and size appropriate.
When brushing babies’ teeth, only a minimal amount of toothpaste is needed. A grain of rice is a comparable size. Just like adults, baby teeth should be brushed a minimum of twice daily. In order to maintain their oral health, parents should regularly check their babies’ gums and teeth. By lifting their lip and examining, they will notice if there are any spots developing.
Regardless if there is anything unusual occurring, a baby should see a dentist when their first tooth erupts. If not, it is highly recommended that a baby visits a dentist within the first year of their life. If anything unusual is observed, the baby should be seen by a dental professional immediately.
2. Positioning a Child for Regular Toothbrushing
If you’re a parent, you’ll know that it’s not always the easiest task when trying to brush your child’s teeth. The key is making it comfortable for the child, so that they do not resist. Find a spot that is comfortable for them, encouraging them to lay down.
When the child lays down, parents have a clearer view of their teeth, making it easier for everyone. It can be highly effective to have a child lay on a couch or bed, allowing their head to rest between your legs.
3. Brushing Toddler’s Teeth
Just like you would with a baby, choose a child-sized brush for toddlers. Once again, the bristles should be soft. By the age of three, you can gradually increase the amount of toothpaste to about a pea-sized amount. Once a child is a toddler, their teeth should be brushed for a minimum of two minutes. Each side of the child’s teeth should be brushed, along with the roof of their mouth, and tongue.
If the child’s gums are bleeding, the parents may need a softer approach. Also, this is a sign that the child’s teeth need to be brushed more often, and/or more effectively. The teeth that are touching, should be flossed on a regular basis. Toddlers should be making regular visits to the dentist as well.