A good dental hygiene plan starts when we’re young and should continue when we’re old and gray. But what are the best ways to care for your teeth throughout the years? We share some tips for a lifelong dental care routine in today’s blog.
Caring For Your Teeth Starts Young
Creating a good dental plan begins with parents helping the child learn how to care for their teeth. For children under the age of three, get them a small toothbrush and help them brush their teeth in the morning and at night. You don’t need much toothpaste on the brush – only a dab the size of a grain of rice should suffice. For children between the ages of three and six, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Make sure the toothpaste contains fluoride, as that will help to protect their teeth. For best results, choose a toothpaste that has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval.
When your child gets their permanent teeth, talk to their dentist about dental sealant. Sealants are an invisible plastic material that are applied to the back teeth where decay most often occurs. This helps to delay teeth breakdown and helps keep them strong. Children should also begin flossing once a day in addition to brushing at least twice a day.
If your child needs dental work, ask the dentist about ways to keep them calm during the procedure, as the first couple times in the dental chair can be intimidating. Some parents find it helpful to schedule the appointment for a time after their child has taken their nap so they aren’t fussy. It’s also helpful to ensure your child isn’t hungry, as that can make them grouchy.
Mouth Health As Your Get Older
Once your child gets in a routine, they can take control of their daily dental duties. Make sure they get regular dental health screenings and cleanings every six months so any potential problems can be caught when they are small.
Caring for your teeth remains extremely important when you get older. However, it’s not just your teeth that are prone to changes. Many patients notice that their jaw feels sensitive or painful, and while this isn’t all that uncommon, it shouldn’t be ignored. A lot of patients can find jaw pain relief through conservative care methods, like physical therapy, stretching exercises and anti-inflammatory medications.
Finally, while it’s important to keep an eye on old fillings and crowns, you don’t need to have them replaced just because they are old. These fillings can last for years or even decades, so don’t just have them replaced, unless they crack or come loose. Your dentist can keep an eye on previous work and use dental X-rays to ensure everything remains as it should. Ask your dentist for more information on how to spot the signs of worn or broken dental work.
For more information on caring for your teeth throughout the years, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.