As we’re growing up, we have the importance of consistent and effective dental hygiene practices instilled in us. Those of us who didn’t know how hard it can be to instill these practices in ourselves later in life. We also know how our oral health can suffer. As we get older and become parents, we realize that getting started early is essential to getting these habits put in place. But even if we were lucky enough to get taught these oral health essentials, it’s rare that any of us get even a crash course in how to pass these techniques and habits on. If this is you, don’t worry, we’re here to help!
The Important Elements Of Proper Oral Hygiene Practices
In order to pass on good oral health practices, you have to ensure you actually know what they are. We’re going to go into some brief review to help ensure that the practices you grew up with are the ones suggested by the ADA. In addition, we’re going to cover a myth or two that you may have come to believe that can actually be hurting your oral health practices.
- Brushing – This is the most basic building block of good oral hygiene and should be done twice a day. There are those who believe that brushing after every meal is good, but there is such a thing as an overabundance of effort. Twice a day is usually enough, and you rarely need to do it more.
- Flossing – Like brushing, flossing should be done twice a day. It’s generally best to do it after brushing, but before rinsing so, the spaces between your teeth can benefit from the fluoride in toothpaste.
- Mouthwash – Mouthwash is good for multiple reasons, especially if you have the antibacterial kind. There’s nothing wrong with the ones that just freshen your breath, but be aware they don’t do anything for your oral health.
Alright then! These are the simple basics of oral health care and form the foundation of the practices you should teach your family. Remember when you’re brushing to use small circles and focus on one tooth and one tooth face at a time. Adding a quick brushing for your tongue and roof of the mouth is good too!
How To Teach These Habits To Your Family
So the real challenge isn’t getting these habits right yourself but passing them on to your children. Accomplishing this goal starts early. You can introduce them to toothpaste at just a few months old, and you can start teaching them to brush as soon as they can effectively hold a toothbrush. You will want to continue monitoring their brushing habits until they reach age 6 or 8. There are tools you can give them to help make flossing easier until they can manage it on their own when they’re older.
In addition to general brushing practices, be sure to explain the damage that sugar and acid can have on their oral health. You may also want to discuss the impact of tobacco use and oral piercings before they get old enough to get these on their own. Ask your dentist for further guidance.