Let us go back to the basics. I mean who doesn’t want a sparkling smile and a set of healthy teeth?
So here are a few tips to maintain your oral health.
1. Start children early. One in four children develop signs of tooth decay before they start pre-school. Half of all children show this between the ages of 12-15. Dental care should begin as soon as the first tooth appears, usually at 6 months of age.
2. Use enough –but not too much – fluoride. Lucky for us, it happens to be in abundant in our waters. Unlucky for us, it is more than is required. It would be good practice to de-fluoridate the water for consumption as early as a baby is conceived to prevent “browning” of teeth.
3. Brush twice a day and floss daily. I can’t reiterate this enough. Gum disease and tooth decay remain a big challenge for all age groups, except for those who have no teeth. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3 months, and those who have braces should be using special oral hygiene tools.
4. In addition to brushing twice a day, it is good practice to rinse the mouth with water after every meal. This would reduce chances of decay by up to 80%.
5. Sports and recreational activities are very essential for a healthy and fit body. Block blows to the teeth by using a mouth guard if needed. Consult your dentist for the same.
6. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Not only do they stain teeth, sometimes leaving intrinsic stains which would require expensive treatment for whitening, but may cause gum disease and oral cancer. If you smoke or chew tobacco, QUIT IT, if not for yourself then for those you love.
7. Eat smart. At every age a well balanced, healthy diet is essential for a healthy set of teeth. Grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits and dairy products would give you all the essential nutrients one may need.
8. And lastly, as much as all the above tips would give you a healthy set of pearlies, it is essential to visit your dentist every six months without fail. A healthy oral cavity is paramount for a healthy lifestyle.