How to keep your Teeth Healthy and Strong

1.Brush for at least two minutes. Do this in the morning and at night before you go to sleep.The most important thing in maintaining a good oral hygiene is to adopt the correct brushing technique. Ask your dentist or hygienist to teach you how to correctly use the toothbrush and how to apply it to your gums and teeth.

· Brush with a soft bristled brush or an electric toothbrush. Brush all the surfaces of each tooth, including the chewing surface, the back and the front.

· Replace your toothbrush every three months. If you use an electric toothbrush, you should also replace the head every three months.

· It also never hurts to brush your teeth in the middle of the day.

· Wait about 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. After you eat, the acid produced by the food in your mouth causes your enamel to soften. Immediately after eating you can rinse your mouth with water, then after 30 minutes, you can brush. 

· Children should brush their baby teeth both to prevent cavities and to learn good oral hygiene habits. 

2.Protect your teeth against decay by using a toothpaste with fluoride.Fluoride strengthens the enamel coating on your teeth, making it less vulnerable to decay. Ideally, the toothpaste should have 1,350–1,500 ppm of fluoride in it. This is safe for children as long as an adult supervises them to make sure they don’t eat it.

· If you use a lower strength toothpaste for a young child, make sure it has at least 1,000 ppm of fluoride. If it is lower, it won’t have enough to prevent tooth decay.

· Use a pea-sized amount on the toothbrush. When you are finished brushing, spit it out. You can rinse your mouth with water, but only briefly. You don’t want to wash away all the fluoride!

3.Prevent tooth decay from occurring between your teeth by flossing. Flossing will remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria that might be hiding between your teeth where the bristles of your brush can’t reach them.

· Use about a foot-and-a-half of floss. Wind it around one finger of your dominant hand and one finger of your non-dominant hand. Then, with your dominant hand, insert the floss between your teeth and curve the floss around one of the teeth. Rub up and down, including going gently below the gum line. Then curve it around the other tooth and repeat. Use a mirror to help you see what you are doing.

· Floss at least once per day. If you find the floss difficult to handle, you can use an interdental cleaner which has a small handle with a brush, pick, or stick that helps you get between your teeth. 

· If you floss before brushing, this will help the fluoride in your toothpaste get between your teeth and provide antibacterial protection.

4.Use mouthwash.You can reduce the amount of bacteria floating around your mouth by rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash or or salt solution. If you use a mouthwash, look for one with fluoride in it. 

· A good mouthwash should also have chlorhexidine in a small concentration, such as 0.02%. Avoid products that contain alcohol

· To make a salt solution, dissolve salt into a cup of warm water. As you add salt, taste it to make sure it isn’t so salty that you won’t be able to stand it. If it’s too salty, add more water.

· Swish the mouthwash or salt solution in your mouth for about two minutes. Move it around as much as possible so that it will coat all areas of your teeth. Then tip your head back and gargle. Spit the mixture out afterwards. Don’t swallow it. Gargling might not be appropriate for children who are too young to safely do so without choking.

5.Scrape bacteria off your tongue with a scraper or by brushing it. roughness of your tongue traps food particles and bacteria, which may contribute to tooth decay.

· Don’t press so hard it hurts or bleeds. You should be able to see a film of saliva and debris on the scraper by just moving it gently. Go from back to front.

·  Some toothbrushes have tongue scrapers on the back of them. Look to see if yours has a rough little pad.

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