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Archive for Thursday, July 19, 2001

How to keep a winning smile

July 19, 2001

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Children should learn early how to keep their teeth healthy and clean especially because tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, according to U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher.

Here are some tips for caring for "growing" teeth:

Use the right tools, including fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay, a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles and dental floss.

Brush morning and night, holding the toothbrush at an angle against the gumline, and move the brush back and forth with short strokes. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Then brush the inner surfaces of each tooth, and hold the brush flat and brush the chewing surfaces of each tooth. Gently brush the tongue, too.

Floss daily to help remove plaque from between teeth and under the gumline. Check with your dentist to learn when you should begin flossing.

See the dentist regularly, usually twice a year. Children should visit a dentist by their first birthday.

Eat nutritious foods to help keep teeth and gums healthy.

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