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DENTAL TIPS

DENTAL TIPS FOR ADULTS

You should brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become worn or frayed.

Oral irrigators are used as an aid for people with braces or fixed partial dentures, they should not replace regular brushing or flossing.

If you experience pain or sore muscles in the jaw joint area (in front of your ears) or even headaches, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep. Speak to your dentist about being fitted for a night guard, which will protect your teeth and the joint area.

Gums should not bleed upon brushing. This is an indication of periodontal disease. Your dentist should do a thorough exam to evaluate the extent of the disease and prescribe an appropriate regimen.

Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Fluoride mouth rinses strengthen the teeth and can help prevent decay at all ages.

Consume plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones.

Avoid sticky sweets, such as taffies, toffees, soft candies and pastries. These types of foods stick to your teeth and feed decay-causing bacteria. When you do eat sweets, eat them after a meal. When candies are eaten alone, they are more likely to remain stuck between your teeth.

Do eat crunchy foods that naturally clean the teeth (apples, carrots, and other raw vegetables) and foods with ample vitamin C, like citrus fruits and broccoli.

Be aware that excessive amounts of coffee, tea, red wine and other beverages can stain your teeth.

Don’t chew on ice, popcorn kernels, lollipops or other hard foods. Doing so can crack or otherwise damage your teeth or restorations.

If you can’t brush your teeth after eating, rinse your mouth with water.If you wear removable appliances, clean them after eating and rinse before replacing them in your mouth.

DENTAL TIPS FOR CHILDRENS

Parents should wipe their newborn’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding to control the accumulation of plaque and to establish this ritual as part of the daily routine.

Parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as they come in, with only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Ideally, flossing should begin when two adjacent teeth touch.

Parents should take their young child with them to their next routine dentist appointment to reduce some of the child’s potential anxiety in the dental chair. The child will have a chance to get used to the sounds, smells and staff in the dental office, prior to his/her own dental visit.

Children should visit the dentist no later than six months after the first tooth erupts, or before the child’s first birthday.

Parents should not give an unattended or sleeping child a bottle with milk or juice. Instead, children should drink water to prevent baby bottle tooth decay.

It is important for children aged 6 months to 16 years to drink water that is optimally fluoridated drinking water (well water and bottled or spring water do not have any fluoride). Most communities have fluoridated tap water, but if it is not available the dentist can recommend a dietary fluoride supplement dosage.

Dental sealants are an excellent way to prevent tooth decay in children. The dental sealant procedure takes only minutes, is painless, is less than half the cost of a filling and is virtually 100 percent effective at stopping decay.

Children involved in sports need proper mouth protection to prevent mouth injuries, knocked-out teeth, and possible concussions. Ask your dentist about customized mouth guards.

If a child or an adult has a permanent tooth knocked out of his/her mouth, follow these procedures: gently rinse (not scrub) the tooth off and place it in a cup of warm milk (salt water is the second best choice; plain water, the third best), call the dentist and bring the child and the soaking tooth in immediately for re-implantation and stabilization.

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