Improving Your Dental Health, as Well as Your Child’s
Awareness of the oral-health conditions you are likely to face at different stages of life can help you stay a step ahead of potential dental problems, and build a lifetime of healthy smiles. If you have any questions of how to care for your teeth, make sure to contact us so you can have the right care.
Dental Health if You are Pregnant
Expectant mothers can give children a head start by eating an array of healthy foods and taking calcium supplements while pregnant. Also, taking folic-acid supplements decreases the risk of a baby being born with a cleft lip and palate. After the baby’s birth, parents should wipe the infant’s gums with a soft, damp cloth after feedings, as this helps prevent the buildup of bacteria. When teeth come in, typically at six months old, parents can use a soft children’s toothbrush twice a day to clean the teeth and gum line, where decay starts. Parents need to pay attention to baby teeth, as they are not disposable. We recommend parents brush their children’s teeth until they are six years old. This instills good habits and a routine. Parents can begin taking children to a pediatric or family dentist around one year of age. Another important habit parents can establish is to avoid feeding kids sweet and sticky foods.
Your Own Dental Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report nearly one-third of adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Early detection is important: In the early stages, tooth decay is often painless and can be picked up only during a dental exam. A visible sign of the separate dental problem of periodontal disease is loss of bone around the teeth and requires a dentist’s intervention as well. Risk factors for dental health are often tied to overall health. There’s a direct relation between gum disease and other diseases. If you are on medications for high blood pressure or epilepsy, or have diabetes, visit the dentist on a more routine basis. Additionally, people of all ages can drink fluoridated water to reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. Most cities have fluoride in tap water, however, the majority of bottled waters do not. If your water source does not have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements.
Other Benefits of Great Oral Health
Even as people are living longer, more older adults are keeping their natural teeth. However, older adults still need to visit a dentist regularly, as they are at increased risk of developing throat and oral cancers (especially those who smoke or drink alcohol heavily). Older adults also have an increased risk of dry mouth and may be on a number of medications that affect oral health. For those with dentures, many older patients do not think they need to go to the dentist, but they might not be cleaning their dentures correctly. If your gums are red and swollen, check in with your dentist, it may be a sign your dentures do not fit anymore.