Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, aim your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and move your brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
Brush your teeth three times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque:
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- At bedtime
As soon as the bristles start to wear down or
fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one.
Do not swallow any toothpaste. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is
very important to floss between your teeth every day.
Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Guide the floss between the teeth. Wrap it into a c-shape, grasping the floss with thumbs and forefingers to slide it up and down along the length of the tooth and into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance.
Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let a staff member know at your next appointment.
The teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consumption of foods that contain sugars and starches should be decreased. These foods can include candies, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth.
You should visit your general dentist twice a year (once every six months). In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular checkups. Your dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment. If you have a dental emergency, you should call your dentist immediately.