Proper dental hygiene says a lot about a person, and it all starts by making responsible habits at a young age. Statistics show that three out of every four Americans will have gingivitis or a more advanced gum disease, with one out of every four Americans suffering from an untreated dental cavity. The statistics surrounding children are especially alarming with 20% of 12 to 19 year-olds suffering from untreated tooth decay. 30% of the children between the ages of 6 and 11 have some kind of dental sealant.
Visiting the Dentist
The best place to go to get advice on dental health is obviously a dentist’s office. The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist after their first birthday, or 6 months after their first tooth appears. Regular trips to the dentist can assure that you and your family are maintaining proper oral hygiene.
While proper brushing habits are the best way of removing most of the tarter and plaque buildup on your teeth, brushing only cleans up to 70% of your teeth, making it ineffective on its own. When paired together with flossing, you can remove all of the residue from your teeth and maintain proper oral health.
Flossing is often neglected by most of the U.S. population, who believe that brushing alone is sufficient dental care. It is important to emphasize the role of flossing in a child’s life. Generally speaking, its time to start flossing once the child has two teeth that touch.
Mouthwash leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh. When used in conjunction with flossing and brushing, rinsing your mouth can help to eliminate the bacterial sources of plaque and halitosis.
Night Mouth Guards
Some people have a tendency to grind their teeth in their sleep. The American Sleep Association estimates that around 10% of adults and 15% of children in the United States grind their teeth. Recent surveys done at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found that those who clench their teeth while sleeping are doing damage equivalent to 300 pounds of pressure on their mouths. It is thought that 80% of all headaches result from muscle tension caused from dental stress and the grinding of teeth that could have been prevented with night mouth guards. By taking precautions like night mouth guards, you can ensure that you and your families will have smiles that last your whole lives.