If you'd like to ensure that your dental health and that of your family remains in good condition for years to come, you'll have to do more than just keep up with your twice a year appointments to the local family dentist. A large part of your success in maintaining good dental health is what happens in between each appointment when you are left to take care of your teeth and gums on your own. If you think you or others in your family could do with a bit of a refresher on the basics, here are some dental health tips that the entire family can get in on.
Buy Floss and Fluoride Rinse for the Entire Family
Brushing alone just isn't enough. Your dentist probably even tells you to use floss and a fluoride rinse every time you go for an appointment and maybe you'll actually listen for a week or two but then it'll fall out of the habit again. Add floss and fluoride rinse to your shopping list and ensure that every member of the family has some. If you have children, ask your dentist to suggest a fluoride rinse without alcohol that is safe for kids to use.
Replace Your Brush More Often Than at Every Dentist Appointment
If you are like most people, you probably only get a new toothbrush every time you go to the dentist and they give you one for free. There's nothing wrong with taking advantage of a freebie, but you don't want to go 6 months without changing your brush. Every time you brush, some of the bacteria or plaque from your teeth can get stuck on the bristles. Over time, your toothbrush will be contaminated with plaque and brushing might actually do more harm than good because you are just putting something with a ton of plaque on it back in your mouth. Switch out your brush every 2 to 3 months for the best results.
Cut Back on Sugar
Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay for people of all ages. If your fridge at home is filled with lots of sugary drinks like soda, it might be time for a change. Encouraging your kids to drink more water or other healthier beverages can go a long way towards ensuring a lifetime of good dental health. While you're at it, take a look at the pantry and make some changes there too if your household is currently overrun with candy bars.
Reach out to a family dentist for more tips.