SHAFAQNA- You and your family can have healthy teeth and gums to last a lifetime. As a parent, you can work with your children to help them understand why good oral care is important and show them how to do it right.Four steps to a bright smile
1. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.
2. Floss every day.
3. Limit the number of times you eat snacks each day.
4. Visit your dentist regularly.
It’s easy to guide your family toward good oral health. All it takes is the right information and a little practise to keep them moving in the right direction.
Fluoride: Your family’s best defence
Fluoride is the best cavity fighter you can find as you guide your family to a lifetime of bright smiles. It keeps the whole family’s teeth strong, no matter what their ages.
How fluoride works
Every day, the enamel on teeth is attacked by acids produced in dental plaque. These acids can make teeth weaker, and can result in decay.
That’s where fluoride comes in. When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel and prevent tooth decay. It can even help stop the decay process.
Snacking and tooth decay
If fluoride is our greatest protection against decay, then frequent snacking can be our teeth’s biggest enemy. Every day, you and your family face snacking challenges and everyone has plaque bacteria in their mouths. But when these plaque bacteria meet up with the sugars and starches that are found in snacks such as cookies, candies, dried fruits, soft drinks or even pretzels or potato chips, the plaque reacts to create acid, and a plaque attack occurs.
The fact is, most snacks that you eat contain either sugars or starches that give plaque this opportunity to make acid. And each plaque attack can last for up to 20 minutes after you have finished your snack. During this period, the plaque acid is attacking tooth enamel, making it weak. That’s when cavities can start.
The good news is, you can take a stand against plaque. By brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and by reducing the number of times you snack each day, you and your family can help prevent tooth decay.
When it comes to snacking, it’s best to choose something nutritious and to snack in moderation. It’s also better to eat the whole snack at one time.
The dentist is your family’s partner. Good oral health plays an important role in the overall health of your body. Be sure to schedule regular dental appointments for the whole family. A child’s first visit should take place before his or her third birthday.
Dental check-ups early in a child’s life allow children to have a positive dental health experience.
Tip: Take your young toddler with you to your own appointment first. That way, the dental office becomes a familiar place.
Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at Shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, for an opportunity to take advantage of weekly specials.