The healthy smile means healthy gums, healthy teeth you are able to chew and eat with.There are a few easy ways of maintaining a bright smile since early childhood:
1. A large number of infants and some very young children ( toddlers ) suffer from caries. Half of the children aged 12-15 have caries. That’s why it is really important that teeth care starts since the first tooth appear. It usually happens when a baby is six months old. That’s the right moment to start cleaning baby’s teeth with a slightly wet and very soft toothbrush.
2. Use sealants. Around the age of six, children have their first permanent molar and it is therefore possible to have them placed. Sealants are plastic coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of the molar teeth. They can stop the initiation of caries in the pits and fissures in the tooth surface which are difficult to clean with a normal tooth brushing. The latest researches prove that sealants can significantly reduce the occur of caries. Contact your dentist to discuss the placement of sealants.
3. Use enough fluoride but not too much. It alters the structure of the developing enamel so that it will be more resistant. Fluoride can be found naturally in the water. If the water you drink is not fluoridated, ask your dentist for a fluoride supplements treatment. Most of the toothpastes also contain fluoride. It is recommended for young children and infants to use small amount of toothpaste, the size of pea grain. A excessive amount of it can cause white stains on the teeth.
4. Brushing your teeth twice a day at least and using dental floss.
- Toothbrushes have to be replaced every 3 months
- Teenagers with brackets on teeth can use special toothbrushes or other cleaning tools. You have to consult your dentist/orthodontist which one/ones you need to choose.
5. Rinse your mouth after each meal or chew some chewing gum. You can also use antibacterial moutwash and no sugar chewing gums to stop the initiation of caries ( they are salivary stimulants which direct antibacterial activity and neutralize the acids ).
6. Use special braces. Mouthguard / sports guard protect from hits and falls and children can wear them while practising their favorite sport and leisure time activities.
7. Do not smoke. Tobacco can increase the risk of tooth disease and oral cavity cancer.
8. Eat healthy food. A well – balanced diet of cereals, fruit, vegetables and milk products can supply an optimal nutrition. For instance eating fish can reduce gum inflammation due to the Omega – 3 fatty acids.
9. Avoid sugary intakes in your diet. The so called fast sugars ( or rapidly – digested sugars ) in the process of sub – dividing can cause enamel caries due to the lactic acids. Be careful with the sugar added drinks such as fruit juices, carbonated and non – carbonated soft drinks and chocolates.
10. Regular dental check – ups and consultations every 6 months and more frequently if you suffer from gum disease. Your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar that cannot be done at home with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Consultation with the dentist will determine and:
- Early diagnosis of mouth tissue cancer. Every 9 of 10 cases, when found at early stages can be healed. Non – diagnosed and non – detected on time, it may spread throughout the body and invade neighbouring tissues and therefore make survival rates worse.
- Bruxism. It is when you clench or grind your teeth during both the day and night due to daily stress and anxiety. You should consult your dentist who will probably advise you to wear mouthguard or splints at night.
- Gum disease ( periodontitis and gingivae )
- Dry mouth syndrome due to medicine treatment. It affects elderly people taking prescription medicines and it is usually a result from decreased production of saliva. Disorder of saliva production can increase the risk of caries and gum disease. Always let your dentist know what medicines you are about to take.