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Caring for your teeth

Caring for your teeth:

Simple steps to looking after one of your greatest assets.

To brush your teeth:

  • Hold your brush at 45 degrees against your gumline and gently brush from where the tooth and gum meet to the chewing surface in short strokes. (Brushing too hard can cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and, over time, loose teeth.)
  • Use the same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of your teeth.
  • To clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertically and bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.
  • Gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the decay-causing bacteria.
  • Use an egg timer or music to get used to brushing for a full two or three minutes.

When flossing avoid injuring your gums by:

  • Inserting the floss between two teeth. Gently bring the floss to the gumline going back and forth, but don’t force it under the gums.
  • Curve the floss around the edge of your tooth in the shape of the letter “C” and slide it up and down the side of each tooth.
  • Repeat this process between all your teeth, and remember to floss the back sides of your back teeth.

Carbohydrates in a meal...

...are less harmful than when eaten alone. Eating sugary foods before you go to bed can be the most damaging (especially if you don’t brush your teeth afterwards) because you don’t produce as much saliva when you sleep.

If you can’t brush your teeth after eating...

rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash, or chew sugarfree gum.

If you snack between meals...

If you snack between meals, eat nonsugary foods, such as cheese, popcorn, raw veggies, or yogurt.

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Caring for your children’s teeth