Dental Care at Home

Dental Care at Home

Everyone can maintain good dental health throughout their life by adopting good oral hygiene practices and by having a healthy diet. Oral health is important not only for adults but for babies as well. Good dental care starts well before first baby teeth arrive. Cleaning of gums couple of times a day with damp face washer or gauze is essential. As soon as the teeth arrive, clean them twice a day. Small, soft toothbrush without any toothpaste can be introduced to children under 18 months. Once the child is over 18 months old, toothpaste can be used. Water and milk are best for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Encourage them to have health food instead of junks.

As an adult, oral health is often associated with risk factors such as diet, smoking and alcohol. Our eating and drinking habits play an important role in the development and prevention of tooth and gum problems.

The following tips will help keep the teeth in good condition:

  • Fluoride helps to protect against tooth decay. Drink plenty of tap water, as it usually contains fluoride. If tap water is not available use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Along with brushing, use floss to clean between the teeth. Tongue cleaning should be incorporated into daily routine as it removes odor-causing buildups. Mouthwash can be used to reduce the microbial load in the oral cavity and to reduce bad breath.
  • Learn to indulge in health food habits instead of unhealthy ones. Try nutritious snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, natural yogurts etc.
  • Quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and avoid recreational drugs.

Pregnant women should keep their teeth and gums healthy during and after pregnancy, especially those who experience morning sickness with vomiting and/or acid reflux. It is advisable to rinse the mouth immediately after each vomiting and/or acid reflux episode. To protect the softened enamel surface, smear toothpaste over the teeth and leave it for 30 minutes before brushing.

Older adults should chew sugar free gums to reduce tooth caries. Those with dentures should clean their gums and tongue twice a day. Dentures should be washed be washed after each meal using brush with mild soap (avoid toothpaste).

Apart from all these, it is mandatory to have regular oral health checkups, preferably at least once every 6 months. Seek advice from an oral health professional if a problem arises. Dental wellbeing is a lifelong commitment. And as we all know commitment requires care and patience.