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Your teeth can last a lifetime with proper home care and regular dental checkups.

posted Nov 3, 2014, 2:38 PM by Almohajer Aljadeed
By Dr. M. Iskandar

No matter what your age, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and seeing your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Enforcing good oral hygiene habits early in a child’s life is essential for his overall well-being. According to a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cavities in children between the ages of two and five has escalated by 15 percent. Proper oral hygiene habits in kids must start as early as the child begins to bottle feed. This is when babies are prone to baby bottle carries. Baby bottle carries are cavities that are a result of drinking formula breast milk or juice from a baby bottle. Baby teeth should be cleaned using a washcloth, young babies should eventually have their teeth and tongues brushed using soft brushes on a regular schedule. It is important for parents to teach children the proper way to brush their teeth with toothpaste that has fluoride in it, to take them for regular dental check-ups, and to serve food that will maintain optimal health. Kids should eat foods that will strengthen their teeth, such as milk, cheese, and vegetables. Good oral hygiene starts at a young age but must be maintained for a life time. As children get older they should be encouraged to take good care of there teeth. Teenagers care a lot about how they look. Help your teen understand that bad oral hygiene can lead to stains, bad breath , missing teeth and many other dental problems. As we get older it becomes more important that we floss regularly to remove plaque from under the gum line. If we don't take special care to remove this plaque it can harden into tartar and will only be able to be removed with a professional dental cleaning. Tartar under the gum line can also lead to problems such as gingivitis which is an early stage of gum disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush them. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist before serious problems develop. Advanced stages of gum disease may lead to tooth loss but in the early stages can be reversed. A beautiful healthy smile can last a life time with these simple guidelines.