Keep Your Teeth Beautiful
As a little child, we were moving as a family from Sokoto (northern Nigeria) to Lagos ( western Nigerian). My father called me and said : ‘Son, given the colour of your teeth, you won’t be allowed to cross the border into Lagos. Your teeth MUST be white’. I took razor blade and started scrapping my teeth. The rest is history
The teeth are a wonderful part of the body though covered by the lips. It is that part of the body that plays a pivotal role in our day-to-day activities hence, it is important we keep the healthy and clean.
A lively teeth
Here are ten steps to keeping your teeth healthy.
1. Start children early. Despite great strides in decay prevention, one in four young children develops signs of tooth decay before they start school. Half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have cavities. “Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months,” Caryn Solie, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, tells WebMD. “Teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At about age 2, you can let kids try brushing for themselves — although it’s important to supervise.”
2. Seal off trouble. Permanent molars come in around age 6. Thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent decay in the pits and fissures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sealants can significantly reduce caries.
3. Toothpastes. The single biggest advance in oral health has been fluoride, which strengthens enamel, making it less likely to decay. Many toothpaste and mouth rinse also contain fluoride. Fluoride should be used sparingly in young children — no so much on the toothbrush. Too much can cause white spots on teeth.
4. Brush twice a day . Gum disease and tooth decay remain big problems — and not just for older people. Toothbrushes should be changed 3 to 4 times a year.
5. Rinse or chew gum after meals. In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse or water can help prevent decay and gum problems. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can also protect by increasing saliva flow, which naturally washes bacteria away and neutralizes acid.However, I would advice sugar-free gums to prevent tooth decay.
6. Block blows to teeth. Sports and recreational activities build healthy bodies, but they can pose a threat to teeth. Most school teams in the US now require children to wear mouth guards. But remember: unsupervised recreational activities like skate-boarding and rollerblading can also result in injuries. Your dentist can make a custom-fitted mouth guard. Another option: buy a mouth guard at a sporting goods store that can be softened using hot water to form fit your mouth.
7. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Tobacco stains teeth and significantly increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, consider quitting. Counsel your kids not to start.
8. Eat smart. At every age, a healthy diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods — including grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products — will offer all the nutrients you need. Some researchers believe that omega-3 fats, the kind found in fish, may also reduce inflammation, thereby lowering risk of gum disease.
9. Avoid sugary foods. When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids that can erode tooth enamel, opening the door to decay.
10. Make an appointment. Most experts recommend a dental check-up every 6 months — more often if you have problems like gum disease. During a routine exam, your dentist removes plaque build-up that you can’t brush or floss away and look for signs of decay.
Keep your teeth healthy, keep your teeth beautiful.