Give Your Kids a Gift That Will Last for Life – Establishing a “Dental Home”

If you have a young child, you probably take then to see a great family doctor regularly to ensure they are healthy, but what about seeing a dentist? Establishing a “dental home” is essential for a healthy smile and helps to set the stage for enjoying good dental health for life. Ideally, a child should see a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth and certainly by age one.

Early dental visits form an important part of a preventative dental care plan. When we first see a very young child, we can gently examine their mouth, often while they sit on mum or dad’s lap, to make sure their teeth and jaws are developing as they should. We can provide a wealth of additional information for parents, including how to brush those precious first teeth. If needed, we can give dietary advice and other preventative treatments such as topical fluoride applications to increase resistance to tooth decay.

Regular ongoing preventative care, including dental checkups, ensure any problems are diagnosed sooner when treatment is less invasive and quicker, so it is easier for a child to tolerate. As children get older, we work with them directly, ensuring they grow up with an excellent dental education, so they know exactly how to care for their teeth and why it is so important.

Are You Smiling About Your Fresh Breath?

Knowing your breath is fresh is a terrific confidence booster, and it is easy to get and maintain sweet-smelling breath. Follow these easy steps to ensure you can smile about your fresh, clean mouth.

  • Brush and Floss More Frequently

Sticky dental plaque soon builds up over tooth surfaces and contains bacteria that cause bad breath. Food trapped between teeth soon starts to rot, worsening bad breath. Ensure you brush your teeth at least twice daily to remove plaque and don’t forget to floss once-a-day.

  • Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash can freshen breath but choose a brand that helps your oral health too. Otherwise, the effect is merely cosmetic.  Look for a mouthwash with antimicrobial properties and which preferably contains fluoride.

  • Clean Your Tongue

Have you ever noticed your tongue has a white coating? This can contain smelly bacteria, so gently brushing your tongue will help to freshen your breath. Use your toothbrush, or ideally buy a special tongue scraper as they only cost a few dollars. A tongue scraper applies pressure evenly across your tongue, removing bacteria, dead skin cells and food debris.

Some foods, most notably onions and garlic will give you smelly breath but brushing afterwards will only temporarily freshen your breath. You will not eliminate the smell until these foods have been digested, have entered your bloodstream and are breathed out through the lungs.

How Can Vitamin D Help Protect Oral Health?

Vitamin D is essential for healthy teeth and gums. It helps your body to regulate phosphorus and calcium levels and can help it to absorb these minerals more easily. Ensuring you receive adequate vitamin D can help decrease gum inflammation, a problem associated with gum disease and which is a common cause of tooth loss. Also, vitamin D can help reduce the rate of tooth decay as one study discovered that children who received a vitamin D supplement daily had fewer cavities compared with children who didn’t receive the supplement.

If you have an excellent oral care routine but have still faced problems recently with tooth decay, it could be worth seeing your doctor, to discuss a possible vitamin D deficiency. A straightforward blood test can reveal if your levels are low, and your doctor can advise you as to how much you need to supplement your vitamin D levels each day. There are ways you can get vitamin D naturally and one is to spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun each day without sunblock, making sure your face and arms are exposed. Otherwise, you can try eating foods high in vitamin D such as oily fish, dairy products and eggs. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D including some cereals.