To some degree, young people have different dental care needs than older adults. Kids, for instance, may need sealants on their back molars and fluoride treatments to strengthen their enamel. Older adults may need moistening mouthwashes to combat dry mouth and crowns to protect damaged teeth. However, the basics of dental care and hygiene remain the same as people age. As such, there are some dental care tips that can come in handy for the entire family. Check them out below:
Change Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrush becomes worn down and less effective as you use it. The toothbrush can also hold onto oral bacteria over time. As such, it is important to get a new toothbrush regularly, regardless of your age. The ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Consider setting a reminder in your phone if you think you'll forget. And get the whole family new toothbrushes at the same time to keep everyone on the same schedule.
Brushing your teeth is an important first step toward dental health, but flossing is almost as important. Make it a priority for everyone in your family to floss. You may each prefer different flossing products since everyone's mouth is shaped a bit differently. For example, your kids may prefer floss picks, while you prefer waxed floss. What matters most is that you actually floss every day. Consider leaving a sticky note on the bathroom mirror that says "floss" until it becomes a routine.
Use Less Sugar
Do you have to avoid sugar entirely? Not really. Should you seek to use a lot less sugar? Yes, regardless of your age. Sugar sits on your teeth and feeds oral bacteria, which release acid that then causes cavities and decay. Do an assessment of the foods and drinks your family is eating, and work on replacing any that are sugary. For example, if you find your family is drinking juice a lot, consider buying some unsweetened iced tea or seltzer water to drink in place of that juice. If cookies are a common snack, consider stocking up on veggie sticks instead.
The dental care tips above will come in handy for your whole family. If you need additional advice, talk to your family dentist. They can review your family's habits and let you know if there are any other big changes they feel it's beneficial for you to make.