When it comes to best practices for improving health and wellness, separating fact from fiction — particularly on the internet — can be difficult. Here’s an undeniable truth: taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums is critically important to your overall health and well-being.
April is Oral Health month — the perfect time to examine your oral health habits and connect with members of your health care team to improve your general well-being. Here are some tips on how you can ensure you and your loved ones experience optimal oral health at any age.
The Early Years
Teaching your kids to care for their teeth at an early age gives everyone something to smile about. Here’s how to start:
- Once your baby’s first tooth appears, clean it with a small, soft toothbrush or gauze.
- Use floss to clean between teeth that are touching.
- Play fun, two-minute songs while children are brushing to keep them on track.
The Middle Period
As you get older, your oral hygiene habits should get better. Here’s how to build a solid routine to keep gum disease and other issues at bay:
- Get regular dental assessments to help prevent cavities and oral diseases.
- Consult an oral health professional if you’re thinking about teeth whitening to ensure you can get the brightest possible smile, safely.
- Brush two minutes twice daily and floss once a day.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
The Golden Age
The need for good oral health continues as you age, especially in tandem with higher incidence rates of diabetes and heart disease. Here’s how to stay healthy if you’re 65 years of age or older:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Remove, clean, and soak dentures overnight.
- Keep an eye out for pain while chewing or bleeding gums as it may signal more serious health concerns.