Did you know your daily habits could be jeopardizing your health? Every family has their own routine, but how important is oral hygiene in your daily schedule? When it comes to dental care, you set the leading example for your kids. Many activities you partake in may actually be risking your kids’ dental health, which can cause a variety of problems down the line from cavities and tooth decay to crookedness and developmental problems.
If your family skips their cleanings, uses the wrong toothbrushes or eats a sugary diet, they could be putting themselves at risk for greater problems down the line. These five habits will help all of you take care of your teeth together.
- Stop Using Mouthwash
It sounds counterproductive to quit mouthwash if you want to improve your oral hygiene, but many commercial mouthwash products do more harm than good. Mouthwash dries out your mouth, which reduces salvia and puts you at a greater risk of developing cavities, ulcers, bad breath and a higher pH concentration in your mouth.
There have been debates in the past that the alcohol in mouthwash can increase the risk of oral cancer, though no definitive connection has been made. While it remains controversial, it’s important to acknowledge and consider the potential risks of our dental products.
If you want to treat bad breath, look for natural mouthwashes that don’t contain any of the following harmful ingredients:
- Chlorine dioxide
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
- Poloxamer 407
Natural mouthwashes like Aesop, Oral Essentials and The Natural Dentist mouthwash will help your family beat bad breath, fight off stains and remove bacteria from your mouths without harming your teeth.
- Make Healthy Meals Together
Teach your kids to make healthy choices by preparing delicious and nutritious meals together as a family. The best foods for your teeth are packed with vitamins, minerals and protein that strengthen your teeth and bring plenty of other health benefits, too.
Swap out cookies for fruit slices and chips for veggie sticks. Nuts and low-sugar dairy products like yogurt and milk can help fortify your family’s teeth, prevent tooth decay, increase your energy levels and help you lose weight.
3. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Toothbrushes
The American Dental Association has a toothbrush guide that will help you make the best choices for you and your family. You should always use soft bristles to avoid scraping away enamel and damaging your teeth. Both manual and battery-powered toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque and harmful bacteria, and kids might find a mechanical toothbrush more fun than a regular one.
You should strive to only buy toothbrushes and toothpastes that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This symbol means that the product has been tested by the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs for both safety and efficacy.
Children and adults should both brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Flossing is equally important, so make sure you have a full dental hygiene routine incorporated into your daily schedule.
Kids learn from their parents, so you want to lead by example rather than by rules. Instead of telling your child to brush their teeth, make it a learning moment by talking about the importance of dental health and demonstrating the right way to clean.
You can even keep a chart that tracks your family’s progress. Children who are averse to brushing can earn stars each time they take care of their teeth and earn a prize like a new toothbrush or a healthy treat.
4. Form Positive Experiences
Cut back on coffee and switch to green tea. Leave soda and sugary juices at the grocery store and make healthy alternatives like smoothies instead. Teach your children that dental hygiene and oral health can be fun, too. Start taking children to the dentist as early as age 1 to form a positive relationship with regular checkups. It’s important to establish healthcare and various offices as friendly, non-threatening environments.
Stay on top of your own health. Plenty of adults with a fear of the dentist will avoid their annual visits and cleanings, but this only harms you in the long run and teaches your kids not to take care of their own teeth.
5. Find a Good Family Dentist
Choosing the right family dentist will help everyone in the house to develop a better perspective on oral health. Offices like Sunshine Coast Country Dental have a friendly staff that is focused on providing the best experience for every member of your family.
You should start by looking online for dentists in your area. Research their background, reputation and read any available reviews. Ask your friends and relatives for suggestions as well, and be sure to visit every office before you make a decision. Ask the staff about their policies, what types of insurance they accept, what services they offer (such as oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry) and get to know the dentist. Make sure every family member feels comfortable.
Every family member has unique dental needs, and you need an office with staff that are personable and professional with adults as well as soothing to children. The right family dentist will have a kid-friendly office and make check-ups fun.
A Healthy Family is a Happy Family
Oral hygiene is just one facet of our well-being that requires diligence and daily practice. Finding the right dentist for your family is one of the best ways to stay healthy and involved in your healthcare. Not only will a good family dentist make you feel comfortable, but you’ll also be more inspired to learn about how to care for your teeth.
Good oral hygiene habits will prevent illness, disease and injury can lead to painful, expensive procedures. When you take preventative steps, the whole family can prioritize their health and have fun in the process.