A good start to having Happy, Healthy Teeth is to take good care of them.
- Brush AND floss your teeth twice a day.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Visit your pediatric dentist at least twice a year.
- Protect your teeth while playing sports.
Proper Brushing & Flossing
Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. The correct way to brush is to place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle; start along gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.
Flossing removes plaque between the teeth, where a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch. Use about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around the middle fingers of both hands. Hold the floss lightly between the thumbs and forefingers. Use a gentle, back-and-forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth. Curve the floss into a C-shape and slide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance. Gently scrape the floss against the side of the tooth. Repeat this procedure on each tooth. Don't forget the backs of the last four teeth. If you have a difficult time flossing, be sure to ask an adult to help you.
Good Diet = Healthy Teeth
Healthy eating habits lead to healthy, happy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Kids should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that kids eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently you snack, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in your mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If you must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese, which are healthier and better for your teeth.
When you participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to your face or mouth. Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.