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Family Nutrition & Health
Sink Your Teeth into Oral Health
If your eyes are “the window of to soul” then your teeth may just be the picket fence that protects your overall wellbeing. Healthy teeth allow us to eat healthy foods, so keeping them – and the gums that hold them in place – free of infection should be one of your number one concerns.
Studies suggest that oral bacteria and inflammation from severe gum disease may play a role in us developing long-term diseases and illnesses. Keeping your teeth clean and shiny is as important for your social life as it is for your life in general.
Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew.
These four simple words can help keep you and your family smiling about good health. Start cleaning teeth in youngsters as soon as the first tooth appears by wiping it daily with a clean, damp cloth. As more teeth come in, switch to a small, soft toothbrush. Begin using fluoride toothpaste at age 2.
If you have braces, you’ll need to take extra time to keep your teeth, gums and appliances in good shape. Be sure you remove elastics before you brush, and spend about 10 seconds brushing every tooth. Be sure to clean the exposed areas of your teeth, along your gumline and under the wires. Rinse with fluoride mouthwash before replacing your elastics.
1. Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day. This is the single most important way to reduce plaque and prevent cavities, gingivitis and other dental diseases.
2. Place bristles along the gumline at a 45-degree angle so they contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.
3. Use a vibrating back and forth rolling motion to make contact with the gumline and move downward toward the chewing surface of the tooth. Brush 2-3 teeth at a time.
4. Tilt the brush behind the front teeth and brush, then against the biting surface of the teeth as you brush.
5. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
1. Floss every day, twice a day, after you brush.
2. Talk to your dental hygienist about the right floss thickness and coating to ease the task.
3. Keep the floss taut between your fingers and use a zigzag motion to gently slide the floss up and down against the surfaces between teeth and under the gumline.
4. Floss each tooth with a clean section of floss.
1. Brushing and flossing cannot get rid of all the plaque and germs that build up in your mouth.
2. After brushing and flossing, rinse with anti-microbial or antiseptic mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to prevent gum disease.
3. You don’t need too much. Take in as much as you can comfortably hold in your mouth and swish it around vigorously for 30-60 seconds.
4. Gargle the mouthwash for 30-60 seconds more to reduce the bacteria on the back of the tongue and throat.
Yes, chewing sugar-free gum after eating and drinking has been clinically proven to stimulate saliva, nature’s defense against tooth decay.
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