Dental hygiene is very important if one wishes to have long-lasting and good-looking teeth. This should begin at a very young age, the best age for a first dental exam is 12 months or at the time of the eruption of the first tooth. This is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.
Most dentists who care for very young children are specialists called Pedodontists, but many general dentists are very adept with children as well. Healthy teeth can be maintained by simple procedures such as brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist regularly.
Teeth must be brushed twice a day. Ideally, teeth must be brushed after every meal. If a long time passes between eating and brushing your teeth then food particles will remain embedded between the teeth. This enables bacteria to thrive and allows for decay to set in.
A toothpaste containing fluoride is advised by most dentists. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and prevents them from decay. Toothbrushes with soft bristles are suitable for children, while adults must use tougher bristled toothbrushes. Teeth must also be flossed twice a day to remove the particles accumulated between the teeth.
It is necessary to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Different people have different dental problems. Hence, the frequency of visits must be discussed with the dentist. Dentists check your teeth for cavities, plaque formation, lesions on the jaws, and stains on the teeth.
Plaque accumulation can be removed by the dentist or dental hygienist. Such regular visits can also detect budding problems and that may drastically reduce the need for extensive operations such as root canals and crown fillings.
A good diet helps to maintain oral health. Foods having more sugar content must be avoided as these sugars facilitate the growth of bacteria on the teeth. If sugar-containing foods are eaten, teeth must be washed immediately, at least by gargling water in the mouth. Leafy foods such as spinach help in natural cleansing of the teeth. In fact, people in Asian countries like India use twigs of the neem tree to brush their teeth instead of toothpastes.
Smokers should take dental health more seriously. People who smoke frequently may be prone to conditions such as periodontitis, gingivitis, and even oral cancer. A routine dental checkup helps to catch such problems in their initial stages, and perhaps avert them completely.
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