Good dental hygiene is a cooperative effort between you and your dentist. Caring for your mouth is important at every age, but different stages of life present unique risk factors that may require specialized care. Based on years of experience as a conservative family dentist, here are some ways to ensure good oral health at every stage of life.
Adolescence is a period of rapid physical development and this presents oral hygiene concerns that are unique to pre-teens and teens. Maybe you’ve learned the hard way that cavities aren’t just for kids. If so, you may benefit from dental sealants. If you have a bad bite or your teeth are out of alignment, you may require braces at this time. And, although you have most of your permanent teeth by age 13, your wisdom teeth should come into your mouth between ages 17-21. If they don’t come in normally, they may need to be removed. The teenage years are a busy time full of changes. Don’t skip dental checkups or your dental routine, because a healthy smile makes you feel good inside and out.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes.
- See your dentist for oral exams and professional cleanings regularly.
- Floss between your teeth daily.
- Avoid sugary and starchy snacks.
- Wear a mouth guard when you’re active or playing sports.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t pierce your lips or any part of your mouth.
While you may have outgrown the latest teen fashion trends, you never outgrow the need for good oral hygiene. Now it’s more important than ever to maintain healthy habits for optimal oral health. Don’t be tempted to skip regular dental checkups, brushing, or flossing when you’re busy because untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve, and tooth loss. Research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems. Your mouth is the gateway to your body so as you age; protect your body by caring for your mouth.
- See your dentist regularly for oral exams and professional cleaning.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth.
- If you wear dentures, clean them daily with cleaners made specifically for dentures.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
If you’re pregnant, it’s time to start thinking about that little smile that will light up your life. Your baby’s teeth begin developing at around three months of pregnancy so make sure you’re taking good care of yourself because if your mouth is healthy it’s more likely your baby’s mouth will be healthy too.
- See your dentist during pregnancy for routine oral examinations and professional teeth cleanings.
- Make sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant and about any changes you have noticed in your oral health.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between your teeth once a day.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a healthier mouth! And don’t forget to come in for your dental checkup in Frederick, MD. We offer premier, conservative family dental service – with a smile.