Recover from Halloween!

| October 31, 2015 | 0 Comments
What to eat?

What to eat?

Col. Georgia Rogers, DMD, MPH
Consultant to the Surgeon General for Dental Public Health

November 1st, the day after Halloween, has been designated National Brush Day to promote good tooth-brushing habits and prevent cavities from all the Halloween treats.

Two minutes twice a day.

Two minutes twice a day.

Using a soft bristle toothbrush is important, but did you know that fluoride toothpaste is what gives your toothbrush the power to prevent tooth decay?

First, be sure to choose the right toothpaste. Your toothpaste should have at least 1,000 ppm (parts per million) fluoride or more (check the label).

If you tend to get cavities, ask your dentist about using a prescription toothpaste with extra fluoride. Use the right amount of toothpaste. Adults only need a short strip of toothpaste (no more than an inch). Children 2-6 years only need a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, or a small smear across the center of the brush.

National Brush Day

National Brush Day

An adult should always assist with tooth brushing for children under the age of 8. Do not use toothpaste for children under 2 years unless a dentist or physician determines that your toddler is at increased risk for cavities. Then brush the child’s teeth with a small smear of fluoride toothpaste across the center of the brush.

Use your toothpaste the right way to prevent decay. For best results, brush with toothpaste at least twice a day – just before bedtime is the most important.

  • Make sure to brush the toothpaste onto all tooth surfaces for about 2-3 minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth when you’re finished with the teeth! If you don’t have a toothbrush, wipe your teeth with a clean cloth and rub the toothpaste on with your finger.
  • Don’t rinse with water after brushing. Just spit several times to remove the excess toothpaste. Have small children say “Patooey!” very forcefully if they have difficulty spitting.
  • Don’t eat or drink for at least 20 minutes after you brush. This lets the fluoride stay on your teeth longer and fight decay.
  • Make sure to check the expiration date. Expired toothpaste can’t fight cavities, because the fluoride gets permanently bound to the cleaning agents.

Remember, use your toothpaste the right way to avoid the scariest part of Halloween – cavities and toothaches.

More Toothpaste Tips

  • Avoid using whitening toothpastes for long periods of time. They usually contain chemicals or abrasives that can wear away your tooth enamel. This actually makes teeth look more yellow over time, because the darker dentin shows through.
  • If you have tooth sensitivity to cold, or exposed root surfaces, use a sensitivity toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride (check the ingredients label).
  • If you tend to get a lot of calculus buildup (commonly called tartar), look for a toothpaste that has pyrophosphates or zinc citrate.
  • If you tend to get mouth ulcers or have other areas of irritation in your mouth, try using a different flavor (Some people are sensitive to cinnamon flavor) or try a toothpaste without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Some examples are: Tom’s of Maine Natural Clean and Gentle Care, Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste, and some children’s toothpaste. Check the ingredients label.
  • Keep toothpaste out of the reach of small children. Toothpaste with fruity or bubblegum flavor tastes great to some kids, but eating large amounts can hurt their developing teeth.
The toothbrush

The toothbrush

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Category: Community, Education, Health, Observances

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