Teeth – What is so important about brushing?
Every dentist says that the most important part of tooth care happens at home. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
You may think brushing your teeth every day is a waste of time, but regular brushing is what prevents the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is soft, sticky and clear so you can’t see it. But it coats your teeth, attracting bacteria and breaking sugar down into acids that eat away at tooth enamel, causing cavities! Untreated plaque turns into tartar, which is a hardened form of plaque that’s hard to remove. Plaque also causes gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. It makes your gums swell, turn red and even bleed.
Consequences of unhealthy teeth can lead to Dental caries (tooth decay). This can attack the teeth at any age. Left untreated, caries can cause severe pain and result in tooth loss. Losing teeth affects how you look and feel about yourself as well as your ability to chew and speak. Treating caries is also expensive. So prevention and early treatment are important.
Teeth – How to Keep Your Teeth in Top Condition
No one likes going to the dentist, but everyone still has to go for checkups every six months. In the meantime, here’s how to give plaque the brush-off!
Brush your teeth in an up and down motion twice a day for at least two minutes. That’s about the length of one song, so tune into your iPod or phone while you brush. You should also brush your gums and tongue – it destroys the bacteria that give you smelling breath.
Toothpaste and Toothbrush
There are a lot of toothpastes out there, but make sure you choose one that contains fluoride, which keeps teeth strong and prevents cavities. As for toothbrushes, dentists recommend you use a soft-bristled brush because it’s gentler on your teeth and gums.
Flossing cleans where brushing can’t – between your teeth and under the gumline. You should floss at least once a day, using a back and forth motion, and only go as far as the gumline (forcing it under the gums may cause bleeding).
Teeth – Facts that may surprise you
- Toothbrushes were invented in China around 1600.
- 60% of 15 year-olds have gingivitis, but it can be easily treated by taking proper care of your teeth.
- Sports and energy drinks can be worse for your teeth than Coca-Cola because they contain more acids, which dissolve calcium. So the next time you’re dying for a sports drink, reach for a glass of water instead. It’s better for you and won’t destroy your teeth!
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