Your dental health is hugely important for a wide number of reasons. After all, your teeth impact the way that you chew, eat, and even talk. And the appearance of your smile and teeth can be of a high level of social importance, impacting everything from romantic connections made to your professional life as well. And, fortunately, caring for your teeth is relatively simple to do here in the United States, where access to good dental care (and dental sedation, if required) is quite commonplace all throughout the country.

For starters, simply taking care of your teeth on a daily basis can keep them healthy and looking great in the long run. Ideally, you’ll brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, as has been recommended by dentists all throughout the country. However, you’ll want to brush your teeth as soon as you get up in the morning, before you have anything to eat or drink. While this might seem a little bit counterintuitive, it can actually help to protect your teeth from the acids in the foods that you might consume for breakfast, such as can typically be found in fruits or fruit juice.

In addition to this basic everyday care, you’ll also want to get your children started off early when it comes to dental care as well. Ideally, as a matter of fact, you should start brushing your children’s teeth as soon as they first appear, which can be as early on as only just a couple of months of age. At this age, toothpaste is not yet recommended and a warm washcloth will typically suffice for wiping down the tooth buds with water. As your children grow older, introducing a small toothbrush and toddler toothpaste are a great way to keep the consistency of brushing present, though it is important to not give your child or children toothpaste that contains fluoride until they have passed their second birthday.

Regular dental check ups are also important, especially if a problem is detected in the teeth (of adults and children alike). Cavities, for instance, are common among people of all ages, with nearly half of all children having had at least one cavity by the time they reach the age of attending kindergarten. As filling cavities can be difficult in very small children, dental sedation is likely to be required for such procedures. Fortunately, dental sedation can be typically performed at just about any dental office and the severity of the dental sedation that is used will vary from child to child.

Fortunately, dental sedation is typically not necessary for adults, though up to one fifth of all adults in the United States alone have at least one untreated cavity, if not a number of them. As one grows older, going to the dentist becomes even more important, as nearly half of all adults have some form of periodontal disease. Not only can this be prevented with regular dental check ups, but any existing periodontal disease can likely be prevented from progressing as well, something that can be hugely important and beneficial to the dental health of the person in question.

Of course, some aspects of dental health are cosmetic and won’t require dental sedation or anything like it. Such is the case for correcting poor teeth alignment in children and adults alike, as less than 40% of all adults actually have ideally aligned front teeth. While braces are commonplace with younger people, adults are likely to want to use Invisalign, as it will align their teeth over time without being too obvious. Veneers, though a much more complicated and intensive process – one that will likely require some form and level of dental sedation, can also help to dramatically change someone’s smile – often for the better.

All in all, there are many facets to caring for your teeth all throughout your life, from braces to regular brushing to the scheduling of dental checkups, typically for twice throughout the entire year.