Smart Tooth Care Tips for the Whole Family

To help your family members prevent cavities and gum disease, you can teach them ways to take good care of their teeth in between dental visits. Use the following tooth care tips to give everyone in your family from the youngest member to the oldest the very best chance at maintaining excellent oral health.

Practice Good Eating Habits

According to the American Dental Association, consuming a balanced and nutritional diet is an essential aspect of caring for your teeth. Foods that are rich in calcium and protein such as dairy products and lean meats play an important role in protecting and rebuilding your tooth enamel.

You should avoid consuming an excessive amount of candy, soft drinks, cookies or other food and drinks that can lead to tooth decay because of their high sugar content. If your family regularly consumes sugary foods and soft drinks, start cutting back on some of these items and replacing them with healthier options, like fresh fruit and water.

Make Sure Your Water Contains Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that has been proven to protect teeth from tooth decay and prevent cavities in both children and adults. In most areas, tap water is fluoridated, i.e. it contains fluoride levels that are optimized to help prevent tooth decay.

Choosing to drink tap water instead of bottled water is a good way to make sure everyone in your family is getting the right amount of fluoride. If you use a filtration system, choose a filter that doesn't filter out your water's fluoride content.

Learn the Proper Way to Brush

Every member of your family should learn the correct brushing technique as early as possible. When you brush, place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle at the gum line and brush the gumline and then all the surfaces of your teeth, including the outer, inner and chewing surfaces.

Make sure every member of your family brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day, for a full two minutes each time. Learn more about brushing tips in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Teaching your family members the right tooth care tips not helps them prevent cavities and maintain bright smiles, but it sets them up to develop excellent oral care habits that can benefit them over a lifetime.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.