The fall season is upon us, and that means it’s time to get your teeth ready for winter. With the cooler weather and dryer air, your teeth could be in for some trouble. If you want to keep them healthy and strong, follow these fall dental care tips from Dr. Scott Westford in Everett:
Brush regularly. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time. This will effectively remove plaque from your teeth and prevent decay and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from cavities.
Floss daily. Flossing helps remove food particles stuck between teeth that brushing alone can’t reach. It also helps keep gums healthy by removing bacteria that can cause gum disease or increase the risk of heart disease or stroke by clogging blood vessels in the heart and brain.
Utilize mouthwash as needed. Mouthwash may help reduce bad breath and prevent plaque buildup on your teeth after eating certain foods, like garlic or onions, which can create an unpleasant odor when they sit on your tongue overnight.
Make sure you're getting the right fluoride treatment. Children need to have fluoride treatments started as soon as they get their first tooth — preferably within 24 hours of birth — and then at least twice a year until age 3 or 4. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents cavities from forming early on in life before they become a problem later on in life.
Start Early — The earlier you start teaching children good oral hygiene habits, the easier it will be for them to develop those habits as adults. Most experts agree that keeping kids' teeth clean during their first five years is critical because it helps prevent cavities from developing. If your child isn't ready for brushing by age 2 or 3, try using a soft toothbrush with fluoride-containing toothpaste until he or she is older and more comfortable with the process.