Oral health is essential for your general health. After all, our mouths are the gateway to the rest of the body. Even though you are a busy Mom, it is important that you find the time to carefully manage and support the oral care for your whole family. There are plenty of things to consider. If you have a large family, this can also become a little challenging to stay on top of. Fortunately, we’ve put together this comprehensive checklist of simple ways to make sure teeth stay in tip top condition in your family:
If you notice that the visible surfaces of the teeth are discolored, you may be worrying about staining or cavities. A pale yellow is a natural and healthy color for teeth to be. Of course, most of us work hard to bring that up to a sparkling white. Be wary of letting your kids or young teens using whitening products on their enamel. Milk teeth are softer than adult teeth, and harmful abrasives could cause them to wear unnaturally. Some chemical whiteners can also be quite harmful to children so keep them out of sight.
Blackening could be a sign of a serious problem. It’s important your kids attend every six months check up to check for cavities and decay. Staining can be caused by candies, drinks, and chocolate so try to reduce these in your family’s diet.
Young children can suffer reflux without it being much of a bother to them. However, it can smell quite awful and be mistaken for dental decay. It’s worth visiting your dentist if your children suffer from unpleasant breath smells. Even if it is a touch of reflux, this can still harm the soft milk teeth in children.
Infections of the tonsils, mouth, and gums can all cause nasty smells. They are usually accompanied by discomfort and mild temperature. Your dentist can help here. Some infections are caused by missed food particles in your brushing routine. Others may be rooted elsewhere. All of them can lead to more serious general health problems, so get it checked out sooner rather than later.
We all know to brush twice a day, but not many of us are doing it correctly. Brushing should be a gentle action with soft bristles on the visible parts of the tooth surface. It should act to lift up the day’s stains and food debris from the gum line. Brushes, however, can be the source of nasty bacteria and germs. If you don’t want to be putting that into your child’s mouth, then be sure to buy a new, sealed brush regularly. An electric toothbrush head should also be replaced regularly.
Brushing alone will not lift debris from between the teeth as thoroughly as flossing. Be sure to floss regularly to keep your gums healthy. Poor hygiene between the teeth can lead to difficult to reach decay that may eventually lead to tooth loss. Healthy gums hold the teeth in place securely, so it’s important your brushing supports the gum health. Check your kids have access to fresh brushes and age-appropriate floss options. Parents are often advised to supervise brushing until adult teeth are through. This isn’t always practical, but do try to check in from time to time.
Simple changes to your family diet can help avoid damaging decay and build-up of harmful food debris. Believe it or not, fruit can be one of the most harmful foods for our teeth. Of course, we must eat plenty of fruit to ensure we have a healthy diet. Fruit fibers from apples and pears, for example, can get stuck in the teeth. Make sure healthy brushing and flossing thoroughly remove these fibers.
Some fruits, like apples and oranges, can be very acidic. This can, in turn, cause erosion to the enamel of your teeth. Avoid drinking fruit juice through straws. The straw can cause the juice to remain in prolonged contact with the teeth. Some parents like to water down fruit juices for their kids, to reduce the acid content. There are other ways to combat this. Brushing your teeth after every meal isn’t always advised. Of course, you may want to carefully remove visible debris from between your teeth.
If you and your family love the odd high-sugar treat or fruity snack, try to enjoy them at meal time. This reduces the number of contact times throughout the day. It also means your saliva production is likely to be higher to help naturally break down the food and drink you consume. Your dentist can advise you on this fully. We all know that avoiding food and drinks that can be more harmful isn’t practical at times. We all deserve the odd treat! Speak to your oral health care advisor about some of the best approaches here.
Many young teens have braces and other orthodontic treatments to ensure a good smile. However, these can cause many problems if not properly maintained or cared for between appointments. Mouth sores can become very unpleasant if they are not treated. Your oral care specialist should be able to offer gels to reduce inflammation and waxes to reduce the impact of sharper, harder surfaces.
Dental services like this aren’t cheap. It’s worth getting more involved in your child’s routine of caring for the appliances. Hygiene is the most important thing to consider. It will help ensure better comfort and success. Check your child is performing all the cleansing required. Use visual checks to ensure they’re not suffering any discomfort while wearing the orthodontics.
It’s not just the gums and teeth that need to be cared for. Lips are very delicate and sensitive. They’re also a major part of our smile. Cold sores, cuts, and swellings can be incredibly sore for kids. While you might not need a doctor, you may need to ask your pharmacist for advice when buying products for children. Faces and lips often need a different range of care products than other parts of the body.
As parents, we’re pretty good at noticing when something isn’t quite right with our kids. Take care of your family oral health with these simple checks.