What about the foods you eat? Do they include: Grains Grains Fruits/Vegetables Fruits/Vegetables Meat Meat Dairy Dairy
How about snacking? Did you know that sweet, “sticky” snacks are harmful to your teeth?
That’s right! You see, each day a thin film of plaque grows on your teeth. This plaque contains “germs” (bacteria).
Each time you drink a soda, munch on a bag of chips or eat a candy bar, the food (sugar) left on your teeth becomes a “meal” for these germs (bacteria).
They (the bacteria) produce a harmful substance called “acid,” which destroys your teeth.
Each “acid attack” lasts about 20 minutes. After repeated “acid attacks,” your teeth become weak, and a hole or “cavity” is formed.
Choose healthy snacks, and have fewer snacks or drinks that are sugary or sticky. Rinse your mouth afterward if you are not able to brush right away. To reduce these “acid attacks”…
Not only that, but… These “germs” (bacteria) create another problem… They cause your gums to become sore and bleed. It’s called “gum disease”or “gingivitis.”
Did you know that certain activities and habits can harm your teeth? Huh? Like what?
Contact sports… So be sure to wear a mouth guard and protective equipment. If a tooth gets knocked out, do not touch the wound site, do not touch the wound site, keep the tooth wet in some milk or a keep the tooth wet in some milk or a moist cloth, do NOT rinse the tooth under running water, and do NOT rinse the tooth under running water, and see a dentist within 30 minutes. see a dentist within 30 minutes.
Habits… Don’t use your teeth to: Cut things Cut things Hold onto pens/pencils Hold onto pens/pencils Bite nails Bite nails Crack nuts Crack nuts Crunch ice Crunch ice Open bottles or hairpins Open bottles or hairpins
Tobacco… All tobacco products are harmful, including “chew!” They cause: Stained teeth Stained teeth Bad breath Bad breath Gum disease Gum disease Addiction Addiction Mouth and throat cancer Mouth and throat cancer
Oral Piercing… This new fashion can cause some serious and painful problems… Chipped teeth Chipped teeth Infection Infection Nerve damage Nerve damage Allergic reaction Allergic reaction Risk for diseases like hepatitis, tetanus and HIV Risk for diseases like hepatitis, tetanus and HIV www.mcgrathdental.com
Now let’s take a look at how often you should brush and floss your teeth. Oh no, don’t tell me you forget sometimes …
Brush for two minutes twice each day with a soft bristled toothbrush. (Be sure to use a toothpaste with fluoride in it!)
Proper Brushing Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline. Brushing only 2-3 teeth at a time, gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of all your teeth. Use short back-and-forth or circular strokes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath! Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Oral Health Program
Floss your teeth once each day to remove plaque from in between your teeth.
Proper Flossing Now, gently follow the curves of your teeth, sliding the floss up and down the tooth’s surface a few times. Be sure to go below the gumline. Using your middle fingers, wrap about 18” of floss around them (but not too tightly). Leave about an inch or two of floss between your hands. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Oral Health Program
And to be sure your teeth and gums are healthy… See a dentist twice a year for a dental exam and professional cleaning. (X-rays will also be taken to look for cavities and other problems.)
Now that you know these facts… Take good care of your teeth and gums to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. And remember… they were meant to last throughout your life...
Keep Brushing and Flossing! Photos: Microsoft product box shots reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. All photos obtained from office.microsoft.com/clipart unless otherwise noted.