Massachusetts residents – young and old – need to keep a close eye on their health and well-being. Oral health is an important part of the equation that individuals should prioritize, no matter their age. Consider some basic oral care tips to maintain a healthy mouth and an overall healthy body.
Oral Care for Adults
Not all people require the same type of oral care, as different age groups have separate recommendations. Adults should stick to a few important habits to prevent tooth decay and other oral illness.
- According to the S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults should brush their teeth with toothpaste that includes fluoride.
- Limit eating sugary foods and avoid tobacco products.
- Flossing is vital to reduce tooth and gum problems.
- Avoid mouth, lip, and tongue piercings, or speak to an oral health care professional before getting one.
Oral Care for Children
Even though much of the information necessary for adults also applies to children, there are some additional instructions that young people – and their parents – should follow to ensure the best oral care.
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) suggests that in order to prevent tooth decay, all children who are younger than 2 years old should have their teeth brushed with just a small amount of toothpaste. The child should spit the toothpaste into the sink and avoid rinsing their mouth afterward.
- For any child who is older than 2 years of age, their toothpaste amount should be pea-sized. When they are finished brushing, it is acceptable to rinse the toothpaste out with a small amount of water.
- Take advantage of dental sealants, which can help prevent cavities in individuals of all ages, but especially young people.
- Fluoride mouthrinse can also help prevent tooth decay in children.
Oral Care for Seniors
With a person’s advancing age, it may become more difficult to take part in some hygienic activities, especially related to keeping their mouth clean. Specific practices can make oral health for seniors better while improving their experience.
- Create a toothbrush adaptation to make the toothbrush easier to hold. It makes brushing one’s teeth less of a chore.
- Learn how to properly manage denture care, as well as know the risks of not maintaining clean dentures.
- Whether a senior citizen has natural teeth or dentures, it is necessary to follow oral health tips such as flossing, brushing, and visiting the dentist frequently.
Oral Health Tips for All Ages
Every resident of the Commonwealth, no matter their age, can benefit from some additional oral health facts.
- It is important to replace a toothbrush after an illness, when the toothbrush looks worn down, or if it was used for three months.
- A person’s oral health can affect their general health, while it can also complicate certain conditions. Illnesses such as diabetes may specifically make oral care more difficult.
- Before an individual has their mouth examined by a dentist, they should understand what makes a good dental visit.
Additional Oral Health Resources
- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) provides a series of fact sheets and resources to educate Massachusetts residents about oral health.
- The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) maintains a detailed dental care guide.
- DPH details the oral care risks and issues that affect seniors in the Commonwealth.
There are many resources available to help ensure the best oral health possible. Taking care of your mouth will help keep you healthy and feeling confident. Keep smiling, Massachusetts!
What are your tips for maintaining dental care? Share with us in the comments below or tweet us, @MassGov.
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