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  Is there any­thing more beau­ti­ful than the beam­ing, broad, white smile of a hap­py child? Or the gor­geous grin of a hap­py young per­son that radi­ates good health, vital­i­ty and top-notch den­tal hygiene? Those indeed are some of the most beau­ti­ful sights in the whole world, but they don’t hap­pen by acci­dent. Smiles like that result from dai­ly den­tal care, annu­al clean­ings and check­ups by the den­tist, and a whole host of good habits devel­oped ear­ly on. Healthy teeth can tell a lot about a per­son; their over­all health, men­tal state, and poor den­tal hygiene can be detri­men­tal to their over­all health, not just teeth. In this arti­cle, we out­line some of the “best prac­tices” sug­gest­ed by den­tists every­where so that chil­dren’s teeth stay healthy and bright and last them well into adult­hood and beyond. These habits are impor­tant for every­one, even the elder­ly! So if you’ve become a lit­tle lax in your den­tal care habits, read on and com­mit to mak­ing your smile a priority.

1- Never Go To Bed Without Brushing

And not just a quick spin with your tooth­brush, no mat­ter how tired you may be. Thor­ough­ly brush your teeth, using the prop­er brush­ing tech­nique, which is:
  • Place your tooth­brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums ( When the tooth­brush is angled at the wide­ly rec­om­mend­ed 45 degrees to the tooth (Bass tech­nique), the bris­tles can eas­i­ly reach under the gum­line and into the sul­cus to clean away den­tal plaque)
  • Gen­tly move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the out­er sur­faces, the inner sur­faces, and the chew­ing sur­faces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside sur­faces of the front teeth, tilt the brush ver­ti­cal­ly and make sev­er­al up-and-down strokes to get to hard-to-reach places at the back.
Two to three min­utes is the rec­om­mend­ed length by the Cana­di­an Den­tal Asso­ci­a­tion (CDA). Use a soft-bris­tled tooth­brush; nev­er hard! Food is soft. A brush can­not remove hard food; see your den­tal hygien­ist for it! For babies with­out teeth,  a tooth­brush or use a wet cloth and wipe their gums so that when their teeth come in, they come into a clean envi­ron­ment. Milk has sug­ar in it, and this was as the teeth are erupt­ing; they don’t have sug­ar set­ting on them. how to keep teeth white - how to keep teeth healthy - how to clean kids teeth

2- Never Overlook Your Tongue

Lots of peo­ple for­get that brush­ing your tongue is as impor­tant as brush­ing your teeth. Germs fes­ter in the tongue and con­tribute to hal­i­to­sis (bad breath) and tooth decay. A good scrub­bing goes a long way toward ensur­ing those prob­lems don’t develop.

3- Flossing and Brushing Are of Equal Value – and Importance!

how to keep teeth white - how to keep teeth healthy - how to clean kids teeth Floss­ing is a key den­tal prac­tice that too many adults skip, par­tic­u­lar­ly if they are in a hur­ry. But get­ting all that plaque out from between your teeth is the surest way to pre­vent cav­i­ties and keep your breath smelling fresh. If floss­ing is dif­fi­cult, try the floss picks (they are stiff, and some den­tists don’t love them but bet­ter than noth­ing ) but try your best to use reg­u­lar floss and ensure you C shape floss around your teeth as cav­i­ties now are form­ing on the cor­ners of the teeth not just in between the teeth. Peo­ple floss, and the food goes to the side, and some don’t brush after, so the food stays there, and when I go look­ing for the cav­i­ties, I find them in the corners!! Have you ever flossed your teeth and smelled the “gunk” that comes out on the strip? Gross! Mag­ni­fy that odour by a thou­sand, and you’ve got an idea of what hal­i­to­sis real­ly smells like and what con­tributes to its cre­ation. We guar­an­tee you’ll nev­er skip floss­ing again!

4- Even If Flossing Is Awkward, Persevere…

Some­times it is dif­fi­cult for chil­dren to learn how to floss, but keep at it, and they will catch on eventually. Let them watch you floss your teeth and explain why it’s such an impor­tant habit to devel­op. They’ll grad­u­al­ly devel­op a way to get at all their top and back teeth but start with the low­er molars, which are eas­i­er to see and access. Some old­er peo­ple have a hard time floss­ing because of arthri­tis or oth­er joint prob­lems, and fine motor skills are need­ed to floss properly. Again, we urge you to per­se­vere because los­ing a tooth can mean an expen­sive replace­ment or even a par­tial den­ture. To keep all your teeth even as you age, it’s vital that you pay close atten­tion to them and invest time in car­ing for them.

5- Consider Using a Good Mouthwash

Many peo­ple are under the mis­con­cep­tion that mouth­wash mere­ly masks bad breath. In fact, a qual­i­ty mouth­wash can do much more, such as replen­ish­ing min­er­als to your teeth, which is impor­tant for both chil­dren and old­er adults. Anoth­er ben­e­fit of using mouth­wash is that it can help remove food par­ti­cles trapped in and around hard-to-reach teeth. Some den­tists don’t rec­om­mend it much as peo­ple think it replaces floss­ing and brush­ing only if food par­ti­cles are not stuck to the tooth, which most will they come off. Those den­tists always rec­om­mend good brush­ing and floss­ing and always brush after floss­ing or brush, floss, brush to get what you got off with the floss for those that don’t C shape floss. If all fails and you have a sore spot, ” SALT-WATER ” is your best friend! In their opin­ion, mouth wash, if used cor­rect­ly, will have added but lim­it­ed ben­e­fits. Mouth wash for kids is good if it has flu­o­ride in it and can be used based on the con­cen­tra­tion dai­ly or weekly.  Chil­dren and adults alike can ben­e­fit from good mouth­wash, so check with your den­tist on a brand they rec­om­mend, and then make a game out of swish­ing it around and spit­ting it out; your chil­dren will catch on quickly!

6- Limit Sugar and Sweets

And not just the obvi­ous ones, like choco­late bars and desserts. Sug­ar is in most processed foods, so eat­ing whole, nat­ur­al foods are always the health­i­er choice. And serve crunchy stuff, like car­rots and broc­coli; any­thing to stim­u­late your fam­i­ly’s jaws and get them chewing! Processed food is invari­ably soft­er than whole foods, so skip it as often as you can and serve fresh, not frozen, entrees and oth­er foods. If a child or adult is going to have dessert make sure it’s with a meal; snack­ing all day long is a huge prob­lem, always lim­it sug­ar intake like juice to 20 min no long, sip­ping for adults and kids is also a big no-no! Don’t allow sug­ary soda in the house, and you’ll imme­di­ate­ly improve the health of the chil­dren’s teeth – and your own! how to keep teeth white - how to keep teeth healthy - how to clean kids teeth

7- Use Toothpaste With Fluoride

The sci­ence is in: flu­o­ride is good for teeth and helps pro­tect them from decay. Many loca­tions have flu­o­ride in the water, but some don’t; par­tic­u­lar­ly in Amer­i­ca, like every­thing else, it seems, this has been a con­tentious issue in local, state and fed­er­al politics. Many major Amer­i­can cities have flu­o­ri­dat­ed water, but some do not. In Cana­da, the nation­al den­tal asso­ci­a­tion (CDA) agrees that flu­o­ride is safe and ben­e­fi­cial, and most provinces sup­port its addi­tion to water sources. Flu­o­ride Maybe adds for young chil­dren, add a pea-size drop of tooth­paste to the top of ONE bris­tle on their tooth­brush, and if they swal­low it, it’s ok. Make sure you hide the tooth­paste as some kids like to squeeze it in their mouths! CALL poi­son con­trol right away if that happens!! To find out pol­i­cy in your area, research local gov­ern­ment web­sites for fur­ther infor­ma­tion. If you hap­pen to live in a com­mu­ni­ty with­out flu­o­ri­dat­ed water, it is dou­bly impor­tant that it is added to the tooth­paste you buy.

8- Drink Lots Of Water

Get­ting into this habit is good for just about every part of your body – your skin, organs, teeth, bones and nails. Drink­ing lots of water helps wash away bits of food and oth­er things that col­lect in your mouth between brush­ings. In fact, there is noth­ing water isn’t good for, so drink up!

9- Visit The Dentist Every 6–12 Months

how to keep teeth white - how to keep teeth healthy - how to clean kids teeth Going to the den­tist is part of good child care – we all know it is – but it is also true that going to the den­tist can be stress­ful for chil­dren and adults alike.  But get­ting them into this prac­tice when they’re young is the best way to ensure their teeth are healthy, strong and grow­ing properly. Mod­ern, 21st-cen­tu­ry den­tistry is not the scary expe­ri­ence it once was, nor is it painful to have your teeth cleaned or a cav­i­ty filled.  Let your child watch you have a check­up and even clean­ing if they like, so the mys­tery van­ish­es and they won’t wor­ry as much. After the first or sec­ond vis­it, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you’ve got a den­tist with a good “chair-side man­ner,” your child will soon relax. They may nev­er love going for a check­up – who does? — but they will become com­fort­able with it. And a clean bill of den­tal health is a great encour­age­ment for them to keep up their brush­ing, floss­ing and rins­ing habits!

10- Brush At Least Two or Three Times A Day

Brush­ing too often can dam­age enam­el, so most den­tists sug­gest that once in the morn­ing and again at bed­time is enough – if you do it prop­er­ly and floss, that is. But brush­ing after every meal is also fine if you enjoy the feel­ing of a just brushed mouth!  Con­sis­tent brush­ing and floss­ing, along with plen­ty of water and not too many sweets, is the secret to hav­ing strong teeth and a daz­zling smile. Den­tal hygiene must start young, and keep­ing these habits up is the only way to ensure you’ve got your teeth forever. Dr. Asile El-Dara­hali has been con­tributed to the article.

Wrapping up!

Once a child starts doing these things, first with mom and dad and then on their own, the prac­tices become sec­ond nature, and your child will have a set rou­tine that pre­serves their teeth and keeps their love­ly smile. And they’ll like­ly still have that gor­geous grin when they’re fifty and beyond! That’s what we all want, for our­selves and our chil­dren; healthy lives with strong bones and teeth. That’s def­i­nite­ly some­thing worth smil­ing about!  

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