Whether you’re a few weeks in to keeping your New Year’s resolutions or you simply want to start taking better care of your teeth right now, the following suggestions make excellent goals for teeth health.
1. Change your toothbrush regularly. Ideally, you should get a new toothbrush every three months – that’s just four a year, which is a small price to pay for healthy teeth. Make it extra easy on yourself by purchasing four at the start of each year and then just swapping out the old for the new every twelve weeks.
2. Support the economy and your teeth by eating plenty of local fruits and veggies. Apples and other crunchy fruits are excellent for teeth health.
3. Trim back on alcohol. By sipping less at the end of a hectic workday, you reduce your risk for oral cancer.
4. Purchase a toothpaste that doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners, like saccharin. Natural toothpastes are a good option because they contain natural sweeteners, like stevia or sugar alcohol xylitol. On the same note, avoid toothpastes that contain artificial flavors and colors, too. Healthy toothpaste should only come in white, not blue, red, or green.
5. If you have a brand new addition to the family, bring them to the dentist before their first tooth even comes in. Dental hygiene should start early. Plus, if you get your little one used to going to the dentist from an early age, they won’t be afraid of visits as they grow up! Make a point to bring them in to the dentist before they turn one year old.
6. Get rid of any germs, plaque, or bacteria in your baby’s mouth by gently running a soft, damp washcloth over their gums. When their teeth start coming in, get an infant toothbrush (it’s approximately the size of one grain of rice) and gently brush their teeth with a tiny dab of toothpaste.
7. When kids are two years old, they should begin brushing their teeth by themselves. Make this transition easier by letting them pick out a fun kid’s toothbrush, like one with their favorite cartoon character on it. Make sure an adult’s nearby and direct them to use a dab of toothpaste that’s approximately the size of a pea. Kids should brush two times a day – in the morning and at night, after they’ve finished eating. Encourage them to brush for a full two minutes – if you brush along with them, you can turn it into a competition! Or, turn on a song that’s two minutes long to help distract them.
8. Do you have trouble with canker sores? It could be the foaming agent in many toothpastes. Look for a new toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS – some people find it irritating.
9. You know to floss daily, but are your kids flossing yet? As soon as children have two teeth that touch each other, they should begin flossing every day.
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