It has certainly been a while!
I hope you’re enjoying 2011 and that you’re still on track with your New Year’s Resolutions!
It’s February, and in addition to celebrating the Chinese New Year and Black History Month (we’re planning a great Children’s Church Black History program at Faith Church, by the way), it is also National Children’s Dental Health Month! So let’s brush up on some dental care basics (pun intended):
Remember to Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
It’s the best way to a great smile, so be sure to take your time while brushing. I have a timer in my kid’s bathroom set to 2 minutes, to make sure they don’t rush this step.
The American Dental Association recommends using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric or battery-operated toothbrush is great too, and allows you to brush your teeth more effectively. My children and I use them (my husband hasn’t jumped on board yet)! It feels a bit intense at first, but you quickly get used to it and your teeth feel really clean afterwards.
It’s also important to hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short back-and-forth motions. Also, remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth and don’t forget to brush your tongue!
Daily Flossing is Important
Flossing allows you to reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under your gum line (places your toothbrush can’t reach).
Be sure to do one tooth at a time, and pull the floss from the gum line to the top of the tooth to scrape off any plaque. I find the waxed variety of dental floss to be easier to use, and I buy the ready-to-use disposable dental floss applicators (for sensitive teeth) for my children.
If You’re Having a Problem With Your Teeth or Gums, See Your Dentist
The best way to prevent oral health problems is to schedule regular dental cleanings and exams twice a year preferably (at least once a year for sure).
If you experience any dental problems (gums that bleed easily, unusual sensitivity to hot and cold, etc.), don’t be afraid to see your dentist to have it checked out.
I came across a wonderful workbook provided by the American Dental Association. It has cool coloring and activity sheets for children, and can be found on the American Dental Association (ADA) website.
Take a look and have fun!
Dayo Wilson Lanier, M.D.