How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy
It's important to learn how to keep your teeth healthy starting at an early age so you can avoid dental problems later in life. The biggest problem for your teeth is gum disease, which results from bacterial build-up in the mouth. Keeping your teeth healthy can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other health issues.
To keep your teeth healthy, you will need:
- soft-bristled or electric toothbrush
- fluoride toothpaste
- floss or floss picks
- Start keeping your teeth healthy from an early age. When a child's teeth start coming in, clean them with a damp washcloth until they are large enough for a toothbrush, then brush them using a wet toothbrush without toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth twice a day, including before bedtime. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and don't scrub too hard, or you'll irritate your gums. If you have trouble brushing, try using an electric toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush once every three months.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque buildup in between teeth, where your toothbrush can't reach. Start with 18 inches of floss wound around your finger, then unwind a clean inch for each new tooth. If you have trouble flossing, try a floss pick.
- Avoid sugary and starchy foods. When sugar and starch breaks down in your mouth, it can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. To keep your teeth healthy, brush your teeth after eating sugary or starchy foods.
- Eat calcium-rich foods to strengthen your teeth. Vitamin D will help you absorb calcium and keep your teeth healthy, while Vitamins A and C help keep your gums healthy.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will clean your Report any problems you notice with your teeth and gums, such as sores, bleeding or sensitivity to cold or heat.
Tip: If you have a family history of cavities or gum disease, you may have a higher risk even if you work hard to keep your teeth healthy. Visit a dentist if you begin to show symptoms.