Oral Health Tips

Thank you for taking an interest in learning more about improving your oral health. Below are some of our favorite tips to help you “brush up” on your oral health.

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  • Tooth decay often begins soon after a baby’s first teeth appear – clean your baby’s gums once a day by using moistened gauze or a washcloth to gently massage the gums.
  • Baby teeth need care too! Brush your child’s teeth gently with a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when the first tooth appears.
  • Tired of prying your way in every time it’s time to brush the tot’s teeth? Why not reverse roles and let your child brush yours? Then you can laugh a lot and show how much fun it is to be pampered.
  • Make sure the kids see you brushing your own teeth, and then make a point of showing off your shiny, clean teeth. Ham it up and make it seem like a treat and privilege to have a shiny smile. Encourage your kids to show off their own smiles once their teeth are clean.
  • Carbonated beverages are a significant cause of cavities in teens, so watch what your teens drink and make sure they brush frequently during the day.
  • Sports related injuries account for about 5 million lost teeth per year. Protect your teeth and your children’s teeth with a mouth guard whenever playing sports.
  • Are your older children stubborn about brushing and flossing? Do repeated reminders fall on deaf ears? Maybe it’s time to change the messenger. Call the dental office before the children’s next checkup, and let the dentist know what’s going on. The same motivational message might be heeded if it comes from a third party.
  • A small amount of fluoridated toothpaste will help to inhibit decay. Fluoride is also found in mouth rinses, community water supplies, and in some foods.
  • At age two or three, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques. But remember, you will need to follow up with brushing and gentle flossing until age seven or eight, when the child has the dexterity to do it alone.
  • Begin scheduling regular oral health appointments starting around your child’s first birthday. Your oral health professional will check for cavities in the primary teeth and watch for developmental problems, as well as help to create a positive experience that may alleviate fear at future visits.
  • Determine if the water supply that serves your home is fluoridated. If there is not fluoride in your water, discuss supplement options with your dental hygienist.
  • Fluorine, from which fluoride is derived, is the 13th most abundant element and is released into the environment naturally in both water and air.
  • Fluoride is naturally present in all water. Community water fluoridation is the addition of fluoride to adjust the natural fluoride concentration of a community’s water supply.
  • Fluoridation of drinking water has been used successfully in the United States for more than 50 years.
  • Fluoridation of community water has been credited with reducing tooth decay by 50% – 60% in the United States since World War II.
  • Fluoride’s main effect occurs after the tooth has erupted above the gum. This topical effect happens when small amounts of fluoride are maintained in the mouth in saliva and dental plaque.
  • Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process. It keeps the tooth enamel strong and solid by preventing the loss of (and enhancing the re-attachment of) important minerals from the tooth enamel.
  • Of the 50 largest cities in the United States, 43 have community water fluoridation. Fluoridation reaches 74% of the population through public water supplies, or more than 204 million people.
  • Consumption of fluids such as water, soft drinks, and juice accounts for approximately 75 percent of fluoride intake in the United States.
  • Brushing is the key to good dental health, fighting gum disease, and a healthy, beautiful smile for life. Remember to brush for at least two minutes twice a day, morning and night.
  • It is best to floss before brushing to remove plaque and loosen debris from the tooth surface.
  • Visiting the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings is imperative for dental health and to maintain your healthy, beautiful smile.
  • Choose beverages like milk, which helps strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, to give yourself a healthy, beautiful smile.
  • Smoking cigarettes is one of the greatest contributors to an unhealthy mouth. Smoking interrupts calcium absorption in the body and can also cause potentially life-threatening diseases such as oral and lung cancers.
  • Expectant mothers can suffer from pregnancy gingivitis caused by hormonal changes and increased blood flow in the body. Women planning a pregnancy should have their teeth cleaned to remove gingivitis and get a periodontal screening.
  • Using a mouthwash can reduce plaque that causes gingivitis and kill germs that cause bad breath, leaving your breath feeling fresh and clean.
  • Avoid sticky sweets that stick to your teeth and cause cavities, such as taffies and soft candies. Don’t chew on ice, hard candies or other hard materials that can crack your teeth.
  • Cap the paste but not the brush. Covering the brush can trap moisture and encourage bacteria growth.
  • Bottled water doesn’t contain the tooth-decay fighting fluoride, which is added to most municipal water supplies. Ditch the bottle and drink from the tap.


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