10 Tips for Terrific Teeth

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Want to keep your teeth white and healthy? Follow these 10 tips:

  • Brush at least twice a day. If you can, brush after every meal. Brush for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush.
  • Floss at least once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. Select a brand of floss that is best suited for you. For example, if your teeth are closer together, you may want to use waxed floss.
  • Change your toothbrush often. Get a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric toothbrush every three months.
  • Brush your tongue, too. Or use a tongue scraper. Most of the bacteria in your mouth can be found on your tongue. Brush or use a scrapper your tongue to prevent bad breath and to eliminate bacteria.
  • Skip the sweets. Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar.
  • Choose the right toothpaste. Brush with a good fluoride toothpaste to prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth white and healthy.
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, use an antimicrobial mouth rinse or a mouth rinse containing fluoride. Follow the directions on the bottle.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Limit snack between meals. Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups.
  • Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Tobacco stains teeth and significantly raises your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, quit. Also, avoid excessive amounts of coffee, tea, red wine and other beverages, which can stain your teeth.
  • See your dentist. It’s important to get regular checkups and professional cleanings. See your dentist at least once every six months. You should also see your dentist if you have pain in your teeth or mouth or bleeding, swollen gums.

Halloween Help! The USDA reports that on average, kids consume up to 3 cups of sugar and 1.5 cups of fat — just on Halloween! To protect their teeth, place limits on how much candy they can collect. Let them trade in their Halloween candy for something they have been wanting, such as a video game, toy, or trip to the movies.

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