5 Tips for Keeping Your Family’s Smiles Healthy

Leann Hart Dental Advise

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

Your smile should brighten up the room! A smile is the first thing someone sees when you introduce yourself. It can portray confidence and happiness. If you’re self-conscious about your smile, you may hang back at social gatherings or feel insecure. And it’s the same case for your children and other family members. Have you noticed that smile insecurity is affecting your confidence?  What about any members of your family?

Make sure you and your family feel comfortable smiling on a regular basis. Check out these 5 tips to maintain overall dental health for both you and your family. You can’t help but smile after making use of these easy and effective ideas.

1.   Make oral care a consistent part of your family’s daily routine

Good habits stem from a consistent routine. Ensure that you and your children make dental hygiene a part of your everyday lives. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 children ages 5 to 11 develop a cavity! Instilling good habits at an early age is incredibly important and can reduce this statistic.

For young children, brushing their teeth morning and night can often seem like a tedious chore. Make it fun by purchasing a toothbrush featuring one of their favorite cartoon characters or a children’s toothpaste in a tasty flavor (our personal favorite is bubblegum!). Encourage proper dental care with a fun oral care routine.  These simple changes can help your child look forward to brushing their teeth every day and get excited about having a healthy smile!

2.   Practice a healthy diet

You and your family’s food selection can have a huge impact on the health of your teeth. Sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit juice, can result in tooth decay and cavities. Almost all foods contain natural sugars, but it is the artificial sugary snacks and candy that can hurt your teeth the most. Of course, as every sweet tooth knows, avoiding the temptation of sweet foods can seem nearly impossible. If you have to indulge, and we completely understand if you must, we recommend limiting your sugar intake or brushing your teeth after consumption of a sweet treat. Try to use a toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride, as fluoride prevents cavities and strengthens your enamel.

High intake of acidic foods over time can also damage teeth. Acidic foods wear away the enamel, or outer protective covering, of your teeth. Weakened tooth enamel can result in tooth discoloration and uncomfortable sensitivity. Citrus fruits, coffee and alcohol are all examples of acidic foods or drinks that can harm your enamel. To minimize damage to teeth, eat acidic foods alongside foods with a high pH level, such as nuts, cheese, oatmeal, mangoes and bananas.

A healthier diet can improve the dental health not to mention overall health of your whole family. Calcium-rich foods, like milk and yogurt, will help strengthen your teeth. Maintaining a nutritious diet will also ensure that your gums remain healthy and can protect you and your family from tooth loss or gum disease later in life.

3.   Schedule your appointments in advance

Doctors recommend visiting your dentist every 6 months or sometimes just once a year, depending on the person and their specific dental needs, for a cleaning. So, we have to ask, when was the last time you went to the dentist for your routine cleaning?  Remembering to schedule your routine check-ups on top of work responsibilities, children’s sporting and school events, weekly errands and who knows what else can be a challenge, especially when it’s a basic cleaning rather than a painful toothache or an urgent matter.

To ensure that those months don’t fly by without a thought about your teeth, schedule your next appointment when you’re checking out at your dentist. The receptionist will typically ask if you want to schedule the next appointment before you leave the dentist office, so take advantage of this opportunity and get the scheduling out of the way! Scheduling the appointment in advance will help you avoid the sudden realization that you are well overdue for your (or your family’s’) routine cleaning.

4.    Choose the Right Dental Care Products

Make sure your entire family is using the right dental care products to work toward a happier, healthier smile!  There are so many great dental products to choose from at your grocery or drugstore. Research all the toothbrushes, toothpastes and mouthwashes to ensure you’re picking the best one for your family. Read reviews online and be sure to ask your dentist for recommendations during your routine cleanings!

Electric toothbrushes remove plaque more effectively than and reach angles you can’t always reach with a normal toothbrush. They’re a great investment, lasting several years and only needing a brushing head replacement every 3 to 4 months.

As we mentioned above, using a toothpaste with fluoride can strengthen enamel that you may have lost through natural erosion or eating habits. A strong mouthwash fights off bad breath bacteria, prevents cavities and slows plaque buildup. And, of course, never forget to floss! This basic foundation to dental care is often forgotten, but significantly improves your overall oral health and can prevent a long list of painful and unsightly dental issues down the road.

Making use of these great dental products and incorporating them into your family’s daily routine will promote many years of happy and healthy smiles.

5.    Find a dentist for the whole family

Finding a family dentist will set the foundation for keeping your family’s smiles healthy! Having all members of your family visit the same dentist will make it easier to schedule appointments all at once and ensure dental care is a priority for the whole family.

Do some research and ask questions before you make a final decision. Choose a dentist that offers the type of care and services that you and your family are looking for. Whether it’s teeth whitening, dental implants or Invisalign, find a dentist that specializes in the services your family will need most.

If you’ve just moved into the area and are looking for the perfect dentist for you and your family, West Chester Dental Arts offers a range of services for all ages. We’re committed to helping each and every one of your family members find the oral care perfect solution. To learn more about us and how we can help you and your family maintain your beautiful smiles, check out our full list of services.