When most people think of brushing and flossing, they think about keeping a healthy smile, preventing gum disease, and keeping breath fresh. Proper oral hygiene is about more than clean teeth and fresh breath; it is one of the best ways to help maintain good overall health.
Healthy permanent teeth in children and teenagers develop during the first years of life. Poor diet, poor habits of food intake and inadequate teeth brushing habits during the first 2 years of life have been shown in several studies to be related to tooth decay in children.
Your teeth are the first steps in the digestive process – you use them to chew your food! Practicing good oral hygiene habits helps maintain lasting durability and function of your teeth. Poor habits can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and infected or inflamed gums, all of which affect your ability to eat healthy foods. Why? Because when your teeth give you pain, you’re less likely to eat fresh, vitamin rich foods which leads to better long-term health.
So, what makes up good oral hygiene?
Good oral hygiene is everything you do to keep your mouth, teeth and especially your gums healthy. Doing this requires more than brushing once a day. Make sure your daily oral care includes:
• Brushing thoroughly at least twice a day
• Flossing at least once a day
• Using a mouthwash, this helps kill germs but isn’t totally necessary
It is essential to establish a proper oral hygiene routine early in life to help ensure the development of strong and healthy teeth. Parents, as consistent role models, are key for setting a daily routine and to make their children understand the importance of oral hygiene. Teeth brushing should be presented as a habit and an important part of the daily hygiene routine. Children are very sensitive to social stimuli such as praise and affection and learn best by imitating their parents. Physiological and mental development affects the oral care of children.
Contact our dental office for question, concerns or to schedule your child’s dental appointment!