Teach children at a very young age.
In spite of efforts to prevent tooth decay, one in every four kids shows signs of tooth decay even before school age. Fifty percent of children between 12 and 15 years old have cavities. Dental care should start once the first tooth of a child develops, about 6 months old. An extra soft brush or a clean, damp cloth can be used to wipe teeth. When kids reach the age of 2, they can try to brush their teeth by themselves with a little supervision.
Stop the problem.
By the time a child reaches 6 years of age, permanent molars appear. To prevent decay in the fissures and pits, it is best to apply thin protective coatings to the back teeth surfaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that sealants can considerably reduce cavities. However, only one out of three kids in the US receives dental sealants. Speak with your dentist.
Use an adequate amount of fluoride.
Fluoride, the biggest development in oral health, strengthens enamel to make it less prone to tooth decay. Three out of four people in the US drink fluoridated water. If you do not have fluoridated water, speak with your dentist, who can suggest applying fluoride on your teeth. Fluoride can also be found in many toothpastes and mouth rinses. However, this should be carefully used in young children, just about a pea-size dab on the toothbrush. Using it in excess can cause teeth to have white spots.
Brush teeth 2X a day and floss everyday.
Gum disease as well as tooth decay continue to be a big problem to both the young and old. Seventy five percent of teenagers have bleeding gums as per ASHA. Aside from the basic recommendations, keep in mind that:
Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 – 4 times in a year.
Teens with braces have to use a special toothbrush, plus additional oral hygiene tools for brushing their teeth. They have to ask advice from their dentist / orthodontist.
Older people who have arthritis or similar problems may find it hard to hold a toothbrush or use floss. To some, an electric toothbrush is easier to use. Others place a foam tube or bicycle grip over the toothbrush handle so it is easier to hold.
Rinse / chew gum right after eating.
Besides brushing and flossing, cleansing the mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent tooth decay and gum problems. Another way to do this is by chewing sugar-free gum after eating since it increases saliva flow, washing out bacteria and neutralizing acid.
Avoid teeth blows.
Though sports and other activities build healthy bodies, they can pose a risk to teeth. For this reason, schools require their sports team members to wear mouth guards. However, recreational activities such as skate-boarding and roller-blading that are not supervised can cause injuries as well. You can request your dentist for a custom-made mouth guard. Or else, you can buy a mouth guard from a sporting goods store, then soften it with hot water to securely fit your mouth.