Healthy Teeth School Talks
Every year, during National Children's Dental Health Month, we visit local schools in South Brunswick School District. Our school tooth brushing program helps children learn the importance of healthy habits for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
If you would like your school included this year, please ask your school nurse to call 732-274-2211 and set a time to visit.
Summary of Healthy Habits for a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth
In the past 50 years, we’ve learned how to keep our teeth healthy for an entire lifetime. The latest textbooks on cavities and gum disease are over 2000 pages long. Because of what we know about these dental diseases, no child should ever need dentures.
In spite of all our knowledge, dental caries is still the most common chronic infectious disease in children (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Together, let’s bridge the gap between our understanding of how to prevent dental disease and our actual dental health habits. In support of National Children’s Dental Health Month, let’s adopt the following daily habits for a lifetime of healthy teeth!
1. Water not soda
Drink water instead of soda and sports drinks. Sodas are acidic because they contain citric acid and phosphoric acid. These acids are strong enough to dissolve teeth. Each sip forms small holes on the surfaces of teeth. “Soda sippers” quickly turn these small holes into larger holes, called cavities.
2. Meals not snacks
Eat meals instead of snacks to reduce the number of times that acid attacks your teeth. Foods you eat are turned into acid by the bacteria in your mouth. Sugar, potato chips, bread and cereals are carbohydrates that bacteria ferment into lactic acid. Bacteria make enough acid to start dissolving teeth in less than 5 minutes after your first bite of food.
3. Brush after eating
Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after eating to remove plaque and protect your teeth. Plaque is the nearly-invisible sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth. Removing dangerous plaque is important because the bacteria in plaque cause cavities. Brushing should take 2 minutes – so use a timer! Ask your dentist how to best brush crooked and crowded teeth.
4. Floss nightly
Floss between your teeth nightly to prevents cavities where toothbrushes can’t reach. Brushing will not remove food and plaque that get stuck between teeth.
5. Visit the dentist
Visit the dentist every 6 months for a comprehensive exam and professional cleaning. Any cavities that have formed can be stopped dead before they infect deeper into teeth.