Home Lifestyle Health Dental Care Lessons Parents Need to Apply More Than Kids

Dental Care Lessons Parents Need to Apply More Than Kids

11 min read

As an adult, you may remember the flood of reminders, PSAs, dentist recommendations and requests from your parents to take care of your teeth. If you are a parent, then you may have even repeated quite a few of them yourself when instructing your children.

However, it is very easy to become complacent with our dental health – especially if it seems that you are in perfect oral health. Here are several key points and oral care lessons that you need to apply more as an adult than you ever did as a kid:

Your Diet is Just as Important as Your Dental Care

What you put in your body is important for your overall health. That may not be surprising to you. However, what many people do not realize is the effect that your diet can have on your teeth. As a child, you were more than likely able to eat almost anything you wanted without any concerns or worries – treating your body like fun garbage disposal at times. Once you have crossed over into adulthood, though, it is vital to shift your focus towards healthy eating – especially if you want to maintain great oral health.

For instance, did you know that there are certain foods you can eat that can fight tooth decay? Studies have shown that calcium-fortified beverages and dairy products, cranberries and fruits & vegetables can go a long way towards preventing tooth decay and enhance your overall dental health. Even cheese can protect your teeth from decay since the calcium within it blends in with the plaque and sticks to your teeth – essentially creating a protective forcefield in your mouth.

Brushing Twice a Day is a Minimum, Not Maximum

Most people know the value of brushing their teeth twice a day – in the morning after they wake-up and at night before bed. However, as adults, it is recommended to step things up a bit in this regard. You should never view the two-a-day recommendation as a maximum. As an adult, you are in full control of your eating habits and routine – eating various meals and snacks throughout the day and night. This means that your teeth are subjected to the thin bacterial film that can lead to tooth decay more frequently throughout the day than your child (or children) who may stick to the standard 3-meal days. Ideally, it is best for adults to brush their teeth after every meal instead of just before and after bedtime.

Flossing is Not Fun, But It Fights Against Gum Disease

The reminder that “you should floss every day” may have haunted your nightmares as a child – especially when the dentist reminded you twice a year of the risks involved with not flossing regularly. As an adult, though, you should be primarily concerned with gum disease. Keep in mind that flossing strengths your gums and makes it much more difficult for plaque to build up in the nooks and crannies between your teeth.

Keep in mind that you no longer have the luxury of “baby teeth” – knowing that a new set of teeth will just grow in place after the others fall out. Therefore, it makes sense why you should be so focused on the fight against gum disease to save those pearly whites from disappearing forever. However, recent studies have shown the gum disease can also open the door for other diseases to develop – such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Avoid Smoking at All Costs

As a child, you may receive the “Just Say No” speech when it comes to drugs and the life-threatening dangers of smoking cigarettes. However, long before it threatens your life, cigarettes can endanger your oral health. Recent studies have concluded that smoking increases the risk of suffering from gum disease and tooth decay. More importantly, this nasty habit doubles your chances of losing your teeth much sooner than you think and even require root canal treatment for the teeth that stay put in your mouth.

Just as committing to the decision of not smoking will improve your overall health, it can also quickly improve your oral health as well. You will also reduce the risk of oral cancer by walking away from those “cancer sticks” for good.

Listen to Your Mouth and Respond Accordingly

Listen to your mouth. This may seem ridiculous, but it is more profound than you may realize. Doctors advise their patients to listen to their bodies, right? This principle stresses the importance of analyzing and examining any new pains or bodily changes that are abnormal and unexpected. The same principle applies to dental care – especially when you are “advanced in years.” If you have severe or chronic pain in your mouth, then you should schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

Pay close attention to the condition of your teeth and gums – not just the day before (or day of) your dentist appointment. Since you are not necessarily staring at your teeth throughout the day as you might do with other body parts, it is important to make this part of your daily routine – perhaps after you brush your teeth. As is the case with any medical condition, early detection presents the best results when it comes to preventative measures and effective treatment plans.

Schedule and Commit to Your Dentist Appointments

You may get those reminders in the mail or even via text message 2-3 times a year to let you know that your next dental appointment is right around the corner. Make sure that you take these appointments seriously just as you would any other type of doctor appointment. There are too many cases in which the “worst case scenario” became a reality simply because the adult patient ignored, overlooked or simply avoided these types of regular check-ups for one reason or another.

About The Author

Dr. Chris Campus is a dentist at Sorrento Dental Care in Pensacola, Florida. He loves sharing his knowledge with his patients so they can make better decisions about their oral health.

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