Recent scientific studies have shown that the simple, daily act of flossing your teeth will add 6.4 years to your life span! More and more evidence points to a healthy mouth being essential to a long and healthy life! So logical, as our mouth’s are the gateway to our bodies. Everything we ingest, drink and breath, all must pass through the oral cavity! Even many cultural signs of emotion, respect and greeting involve a form of kissing and there you see the mouth involved once again! It’s best to start these habits when we are young, but how young?

The first teeth usually arrive between age 6 to 9 months. While generally not the most cooperative age, the infant’s new teeth can be wiped clean after meals with a wash cloth or even a cotton gauze pad. As more teeth join the ranks and the process becomes more routine a toddler’s toothbrush can be introduced with some tooth paste. Even if a young child seems competent, a parent/guardian should supervise or even assist well into the early teens. Brushing should be done at least twice daily and for a minimum of two minutes! Ask your dentist for a recommendation on what toothpaste is best for your child.

As you can see, it is never to young to start flossing, especially if you want to maximize those 6.4 years! The first visit to the dentist should be at age 2 1/2 to 3 years and the Orthodontist as early as age 7. Never put your child to bed with a bottle ( soda, ice tea, and milk are all bad) and make oral hygiene and the dentist fun so that you set your offspring up for a lifetime of good oral and systemic health! It’s never to late to start practicing good oral health. The benefits of regular dental visits and solid home care are well documented and the benefits in improved state of well being are almost immediate!

The baby in the first two pictures has grown up to be this healthy and fit young man (my son, Marshall). He has an incredible and realistic regiment of proper diet, fitness, mental exercise and of course, good oral health habits. You can start at any time and the benefits are immediate and ongoing!

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