Advice and Tips for Good Dental Health

It’s important to learn good dental habits like visiting the dentist on a regular basis, flossing and brushing your teeth after every meal at a young age to prevent dental problems later in life.

Why is it so important to see a dentist on a regular basis?

Dr. John Vitale: I think it’s important because I think the dentist is the first line of defense when people have small problems. A dentist can help and identify these small problems, such as decay and other issues, before they become large.

At what age should kids start brushing their teeth?

Dr. John Vitale: I think children should get acclimated to a toothbrush as soon as they develop some dexterity, and that would be at an early age, probably somewhere around one-and-a-half, two years old, put a toothbrush in the child’s hands. As they get older, obviously, you should allow them to brush their teeth, but afterwards, the parents should brush their children’s teeth until they are well-versed and have the dexterity to brush their teeth on their own completely.

What are the best foods to eat for healthy teeth?

Dr. John Vitale: I think vegetables and hard foods, such as carrots and celery and foods of that nature are very good because they help clean the teeth while you’re chewing. It’s always good to eat foods that aren’t quite that sticky such as candy and stuff like that if you can avoid it. But if you can’t, obviously brush right afterwards to remove all the particles from your teeth.

Can flossing really prevent cavities?

Dr. John Vitale: I think that it’s been shown that over 60% of decay starts between the contact points of teeth and that’s where flossing plays a very important role. If one flosses after they eat, they can break these particles up, the ones that accumulate between their teeth in some places where you can’t get at it with a toothbrush. And obviously, that all helps.

Lastly, what bad habits should people break if they want to maintain good dental health?

Dr. John Vitale: I think you should stay away from pernicious habits, like putting things in your mouth. Another bad habit that some people have is the fact that they eat something before they go to bed and they don’t brush their teeth afterwards. They may brush their teeth earlier, then have something to eat, and then go to sleep, which is not really good because the food stays on your teeth overnight. And it goes also for drinking sodas and sweet things and even milk. I think that the last thing one should do before he or she goes to bed is brush their teeth so that they have no particles and stuff over their teeth.

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