“Bad teeth” are commonly thought to run in families. However, there are very rare instances where this is true. There are certain enamel (the outer most and strongest layer of the tooth) defects such as Amelogenesis Imperfecta, but this diagnosis is rare and is usually accompanied by other problems in the body.

You can breathe a sigh of relief if you believe to have inherited “bad teeth.” Honestly, bad habits are usually the causative agent of bad teeth. It is crucial that you develop good habits early in life to help maintain your oral health.

The very first teeth will usually begin to erupt in the mouth around 6-8 months and by the age of two, there will be twenty “baby” teeth in the mouth. As soon as a tooth erupts, it needs to be cleaned properly. While it is not recommended to use fluoridated toothpaste until the baby can spit, it is important to remove the food off of the teeth after eating. You can use a small toothbrush or gauze to wipe the teeth off after eating. Sugary drinks can do major damage to the baby teeth; never let your child go to sleep with anything other than water. During these developing stages, it important to remember that these teeth are much thinner and smaller than the adult teeth, thus they are more prone to decay or “cavities.”

These healthy habits are just as important for adult teeth too! Brushing is best accomplished by using small circular motions with the toothbrush (go up onto the gums and back down on the teeth) with fluoridated toothpaste. This brushing technique not only keeps the teeth healthy, but serves to maintain proper gum health as well. To properly remove debris in between the teeth, flossing after meals (at least once per day) is recommended. Toothbrush bristles cannot get in between teeth all the way, but floss can!

With proper home care and consistent hygiene checkups at your dentist, you can spend the rest of your life without having to say “bad teeth run in my family.”


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