Tricks for a Lifetime of Smiles at Every Age

Content Writer

Prathyusha Itikarlapalli

- Content Writer

Posted April 05, 2024
Smiles have the power to melt even the coldest of hearts and remind us of the beauty of life’s smallest moments. When it comes to nurturing and preserving this joyous lifetime of smiles at every age, proper care is essential. Continue reading this article to understand the tips and tricks to achieve this.
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Tips for Smiling Brightly Throughout Your Life
Tips for Smiling Brightly Throughout Your Life

Key Takeaways

  • Dental caries and gum problems are painful and can lead to severe conditions in children and adults. Flouride in toothpaste and drinking water protects enamel and prevents cavities.
  • Maintaining oral hygiene and following simple tips can safeguard your smile for a lifetime. Visit your dentist regularly, and follow your oral care routine, like brushing and flossing on a daily basis.
  • Limit sugar and acid-containing foods while also avoiding tobacco and alcohol. Supplement your food platter with vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and omega-3- fatty acids.

Importance of Oral Care 

According to the CDC, nearly 46% of Americans aged 30 and above grapple with gum diseases, while more than 1 in 4 have untreated cavities.[1] Even children aren’t spared. More than half of those between the ages of 6 and 8 have cavities in their baby teeth.[2] When left untreated, gum diseases and cavities cause immense pain and tooth loss. Further, maintaining good oral health is also essential for pregnant women as it can affect the growing baby's health. Amidst these concerning stats lies a clear message: prioritizing oral care is crucial at every stage of life.   

Beyond just avoiding toothaches and gum issues, having a healthy oral cavity enhances your quality of life. It lets you enjoy your favorite meal, speak clearly, and smile without hesitation in public. And it's never too late to start. By dedicating just a few minutes each day to oral care, you can lay a foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Here, we provide some essential tips that can save your smile at every stage of life.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

When you eat food, sticky films called dental plaques form on the teeth. These thin layers are films of bacteria and leftover foods. While it's normal for anyone to develop dental plaques, it’s essential to remove them for the health of your teeth. The NIH recommends simple yet effective oral hygiene practices, like brushing and flossing your teeth, for plaque removal. Opt for fluoride-containing toothpaste and strengthen your tooth enamel. When brushing your teeth, use a soft bristle toothbrush in circular motions.  Ensure that the bristles reach the gum lines and spaces between the teeth as well. You may also choose interdental brushes, water flossers, or floss threaders for effective cleaning.[3] Also, use antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria and prevent bad breath. However, it's important to note that while mouthwash offers additional benefits, it should never replace the cornerstone activities of brushing and flossing.

Attend Regular Dental Checkups

Remember that your dentist not only solves your dental health issues but can also prevent them. Visit your dentist on a regular basis and get your routine dental checkups and cleaning done as per schedule. This proactive practice permits early detection of oral problems before they worsen. Visiting your dentist every six months is recommended, but it should be frequent in case you suffer from cavities or gum problems. 

Look What You Eat

Nourish your teeth and gums with all the essential nutrients they require. Enrich your food bowl with fiber-rich foods. Ensure a generous supply of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in your meals. Rely on leafy greens, fresh veggies, vitamin C-packed fruits, and dairy products like cheese and yogurt. In addition, remember to include an appreciable quantity of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Better don’t opt for processed, comfort foods, sugary snacks, and drinks. All sodas and common soft drinks contain sugar and certain levels of acid. The acid content harms tooth enamel, exposing the inner layers and making them more prone to cavities. 

Further, the color of the processed food and drinks can cause stains. In addition, it's better to avoid sticky, sour candies that don’t get washed off your oral cavities. Dry fruits are indeed a healthy component of one’s diet. However, dried prunes and raisins can cling to your teeth and give an easy chance for plaque buildup. Further, high-carb foods like bread and potato chips can also harm your teeth. Hence, avoid them or rinse your mouth after you eat them.

Keep an Eye on Your Habits

Tobacco and alcohol are well-known to harm one's health. They also have an impact on your oral health. Chewing or smoking tobacco stains your teeth and increases your risk of gum problems and oral cancer. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough water and chewing sugar-free gum around 20 minutes after your meal, stimulate saliva to flow and flush away the bacteria. It also reduces the acid action of leftover food debris on the teeth.[4] Besides, if you or your loved ones are a contact sports player, we recommend using a custom fit-mouth guard to safeguard the pearl whites.  

Now, you’re well aware of caring for your permanent teeth. Here, we provide simple tips to safeguard the tiny, erupting baby teeth.

Protecting Primary Teeth With Care

Infants depend on milk for their nutrition. You may start their oral hygiene routine as their teeth start erupting. Clean and wipe baby gums and tongue using a damp cloth. Don’t put your baby to bed with milk or a juice-loaded feeding bottle.  Having prolonged contact with high-sugar foods can lead to early childhood tooth decay. As babies grow with age, introduce a soft-bristle toothbrush with a dot-sized fluoride toothpaste. You may gradually raise the toothpaste to pea-size. Further, don’t limit your child’s nutrition. Include nutrients and minerals in their diet for oral health and physical and mental growth. 

The fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water can protect your children's teeth from decay. However, the molars or the back teeth require extra care, and hence, it is better to get dental sealants. These thin, plastic films protect the back teeth from decay. Moreover, getting them is an easy and painless procedure.  

Make Oral Hygiene a Habit 

Caring for your teeth is easy when you establish a daily routine and make it a part of your day's clock. Use alarms or notifications for floss and mouthwash. You may also create visual cues by placing these items in a visible location like, next to your bedside table or bathroom sink. Seeing these items will serve as a reminder until you are accustomed to this habit. Be patient while you adapt yourself, as there may be days you might miss doing it. Don’t be discouraged, and remember, positive reinforcement encourages you.

References

  1. Adult Oral Health
  2. Children’s Oral Health
  3. Oral Hygiene
  4. Sugar-free Chewing Gum

Disclaimer

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and does not replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any treatments.

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    Frequently asked questions

    You can keep your teeth healthy forever by maintaining oral hygiene. See your dentist regularly for dental checkups. Brush your teeth two times a day and floss on a daily basis. Use fluoride toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash. Besides, stay away from sugar and acidic foods and drinks to maintain the health of your teeth.

    To promote dental health:

    • Include all essential nutrients and minerals in your diet.
    • Eat fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and dairy products rich in vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
    • Avoid soft drinks and processed foods loaded with sugar and acid content.

    Chewing sugarless gums after having a meal increases saliva production. This saliva flushes the leftover food debris and reduces the acid buildup caused by the oral bacteria. Overall, chewing sugar-free gums post-meal prevents plaque and cavity formation.

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