Although October is Dental Health Month, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association or ADHA says that you can use the October tips to help keep your teeth and your children’s mouths clean and free of cavities all year long. The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program or WOHP agreed and partnered with the ADHA to offer some good advice. They outline the four core habits for families to master year round to avoid cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Tip number one is to brush at least twice a day
Everyone who has ever been to the dentist knows that they will hear him or her say, “Brush your teeth twice every day.” While this is ideal to protect your teeth from plaque buildup and tooth decay, it is not always the easiest practice to put in place. WOHP says that you should attempt to brush your teeth first thing in the morning and before bed.
Tip number two is to floss regularly
When you brush, it is vital that you take the extra minute or two to run the floss through your teeth too. Brushing gets the surface debris off from your teeth, but it does nothing to get rid of food particles stuck between your teeth. The earlier children start flossing; the more likely they are to continue the habit as adults. One way to remember to floss is to do it at bedtime when you are not rushing around trying to get out of the door.
Tip number three is to thoroughly rinse
The ADHA says that you should use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria and rinse away any food particles. You can use any kind that makes it fun for your children. There are many excellent types of mouthwashes on the market designed to get kids into good oral health care habits.
Tip number four is to chew sugar-free gum
After lunch with coworkers or a late dinner with clients, it is a good habit to chew sugar-free gum. The gum helps produce saliva that rinse food away during the day when you cannot brush. The moisture helps strengthen teeth as well. So feel free to give your kids a stick of sugar-free gum when they finish their afternoon snacks and on busy days.
Teach children at the youngest possible age to encourage healthy habits for life
Kids learn what they practice. Teaching good oral health care at toddler age is appropriate to begin life habits. You can help your children avoid a life of painful toothaches, missing teeth, gum disease, cavities, and much more with some careful planning when they are little.
October may be Dental Health Month, but you can take care of your teeth year-round with these four tips. Encourage children to participate each day. You may save their lives down the road because tooth infections can get into the blood creating many more health problems.