5Well, let’s take a look at how we use and need our teeth.
6Appearance Teeth are very important to your appearance. They not only make a nice smile, but they also shape your face.
7Chewing Teeth are important to chew food properly. The chewing of food with your teeth is the first step in the digestion of food.If food cannot be chewed properly, it can cause problems with digestion.
8Talking (speech) Teeth are important for speaking Teeth work with the lips, cheeks and tongue, allowing us to pronounce words.
9At your age, you should have both baby teeth as well as a few permanent teeth. This is called a“mixed dentition”.Although you will eventually replace all of your baby teeth with permanent teeth, it is important that you continue to take care of these baby teeth.
11Well, Each Baby Tooth Holds a Place for a Permanent Tooth. Your baby teeth are important for place-holders for your permanent teeth.As your permanent teeth come in, they will take up the space left by the loss of your baby teeth.
12Did you know that early loss of your baby teeth could cause problems? Often baby teeth are lost early as a result of tooth decay or accidents. This early loss creates a space.This space needs to be saved in order for the permanent tooth to come in straight. The dentist can save the space by putting in a space maintainer (spacer).When the permanent tooth is ready to come in, the space maintainer is removed.Mestman, Herman, What To Do For Healthy Teeth
13Late loss of baby teeth can also cause problems... Sometimes permanent teethcome in before baby teethcome out. This can cause teeth tobecome crowded and overlap each other.Crowded and overlapping teeth can cause gum disease and tooth decay because these crowded areas of the mouth are hard to clean. If these baby teeth do notbecome loose on their own, thedentist may have to remove them.Moss, Growing Up Cavity Free: A Parent's Guide To Prevention,Quintessence Publishing Co., 1993The permanent teeth are white, the baby teeth are gray.
14Now that you understand how important your teeth are, let’s take a look at how a cavity is formed!
15Each day a thin film of plaque grows on our teeth This plaque contains “germs” (bacteria).Sugar from foods and drinks are turned into acid by these germs.This acid attacks our teeth and softens the hard surface until a hole is formed.+Mestman, Herman, What To Do For Healthy Teeth
16How can you avoid getting cavities? XAvoid sugary, sticky foods or snacks, and choose nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and cheeseAvoid drinking soda or other sugary drinks, and drink more milk & waterAvoid snacking all day long, and limit the amount of snacks you have throughout the dayXX
17Now that you understand how a cavity is formed, let’s take a look at how plaque affects your gums too!When plaque is left on your teeth for a while, harmful “germs” (bacteria) begin to increase and irritate your gum tissues. This causes bleeding and your gums may become sore.This is called gum disease.
18To prevent cavities and gum disease you need to brush and floss your teeth regularly…
19When should you brush your teeth? After eatingAt bedtimeMissouri Department of Health and Senior Services Oral Health Program
20How long should you brush? For about two minutes and at least twice each day.
21How do you floss your teeth? Use 18” of flossLeave an inch or two to work withSlide the floss in between each tooth, and move it up & down against the tooth.Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Oral Health Program
22How often should you floss? Once each day to remove plaque from in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
23To keep your teeth functioning properly, you must see your dentist regularly.
24When you visit the dentist, several things will probably be done…
25# 1 A visual exam. A dentist will look at your teeth, gums and the way your teeth come together when you bite. The dentist is looking for tooth decay, gum disease, mouth sores & whether or not you might need braces.
26# 2 X-rays will be taken of all your teeth. These x-rays will show not only tooth decay, but the roots of the teeth and the bone around them.They will also show any teeth that have not come in yet, and any extra teeth as well.
27#3 A Professional Cleaning A dental hygienist will remove any plaque or hard deposits called calculus from your teeth using special instruments.Your teeth will then be polished with a special kind of toothpaste. This will make your teeth feel smooth and clean.
28#4 Fluoride Treatment A flavored gel or foam will be placed in a soft tray andYou will be asked to bite intoThat tray for a few minutes.or…The fluoride may be painted on your teeth with a small brush. This is called fluoride varnish.
29To prevent cavities from forming on the chewing surfaces of your permanent molars, the dentist might recommend dental sealants.Sealants are a thin coating of a plastic-like substance that are painted on the teeth.When it hardens, this plastic coating prevents food and germs from getting down into the grooves on the chewing surfaces of your molars and prevents tooth decay!Photo courtesy of the Virginia Dept. of Health, Division of Dental Health
30So now that you know how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease… So now that you know how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease….it’s up to you to keep your teeth and gums healthy!
31Thank you for listening! Photos: Microsoft product box shots reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.All photos obtained from office.microsoft.com/clipart unless otherwise noted.