“You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.”As the daughter of a dentist, these are the kind of corny jokes I remember seeing framed and hung around my dad’s office. The truth is, having a dentist for a dad is the best! I was never afraid to go to the dentist. In fact, to this day I still love to get my teeth cleaned. Your teeth feel so good after the professional cleaning. There were times — especially before I got braces — that I needed a tooth (or four) pulled. My dad would just take me down to his office on a Saturday or Sunday and pull said teeth. I was never afraid because I knew it meant a trip to Sonic and a milkshake after.
According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth two to three times per day with a soft-bristled brush. You should also floss a minimum of once per day. The American Dental Association also recommends that you visit your dentist at least once a year to get a routine examination and cleaning. Preferably, you should go every six months. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you should get your teeth cleaned more often in order to prevent the recurrence of infections or disease. You should also have your teeth cleaned more often if you suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease due to their link to dental problems.
Caring for Baby’s Teeth:
Believe it or not, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. Five times greater than asthma and several times more common than hay fever. It is never too early to start introducing your children to the importance of dental health. When the first tooth comes in, it’s time to start brushing. Brush their teeth (with no toothpaste) for two minutes, twice a day to help prevent decay and to help get your baby used to the recommended brushing time. Use a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles until your child turns two to three, when it’s safe to switch to toothpaste with fluoride under your close supervision. If you want to start training for using toothpaste in the future look for a cleanser that’s safe to swallow, fluoride-free and doesn’t contain artificial colors or preservatives. A fruity flavor and non-foaming formula help, too.
Living a healthy lifestyle includes dental health.
This fall, it is important to remember that to keep a beautiful smile you need to brush those teeth! Make twice annual visits to your dentist. Remember, “you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep!” I don’t know about you, but I want to keep ALL of mine!