Wed | Apr 26, 2017

Keep your child's smile happy

Published:Monday | October 13, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits help children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

YOUR TEETH:

help you eat

affect your speech

make space for your grown-up teeth to guide them into position

KEEP THEM CLEAN

Brush and

Floss

Brushing

Place toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against gums.

Move brush back and forth gently in short (toothwide) strokes.

Brush outer tooth surfaces, inner tooth surfaces, and chewing surfaces of teeth.

Use the 'toe' of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, use a gentle up-and-down stroke.

Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Flossing: Flossing cleans between teeth

Break off a piece of floss as long as your arm.

Wrap the floss around one finger of each hand.

Hold a small part of the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger.

Pull the floss gently into the spaces between teeth.

Slowly work the floss up and down from each side of the tooth and below the gum. Clean the sides of the

tooth by curving the floss around each tooth in the shape of a 'C'.

Visit the Dental Nurse

Even if you have healthy teeth, you should see your dentist twice a year.

At this visit, your teeth will be checked and cleaned.

Cleanings remove plaque and tarter build-up on your teeth

You will learn how to improve taking care of your teeth and gums with proper brushing and flossing instructions.

Eat foods that are good for you

Fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, dairy

Don't snack too much between meals

Healthy snacks

Cheese Raw vegetables Fruit Plain yogurt Popcorn Nuts Sugarless gum

Avoid chewing on hard objects like pencils, ice or candy that could crack a tooth or filling.

If you lose or knock out a permanent tooth, find it but don't clean it. Put it in a cup of milk and get to the dentist right away.

Protect your teeth with a mouth guard when playing sports.

Don't smoke or use tobacco products.

Limit sweetened drinks-soda, sugary juices and sports drinks.

A Lifetime of Healthy Teeth Starts Now

A healthy mouth helps to keep the rest of your body healthy

Kids don't have to get cavities. Most dental diseases are preventable if you take good care of your oral health.

Begin today with proper brushing and flossing, a healthy diet and regular dental visits. You'll be on the path to a healthy smile.

Nurse Forrester

Jamaica Dental Nurses Association