September is National Oral Hygiene month. Dental surgeon Professor Hartshorne shares 7 vital tips to care for your teeth.
By: Keletso Modisakeng
1.Start early with oral hygiene:
Parents should begin brushing children’s teeth twice a day as soon as they start teething.
2. Strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay:
For children younger than 3 years, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (size of a grain of rice). Children older than 3 years should use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the teeth.
3. Reduce sugar intake:
Avoid sugary and starchy snacks between meals as this will contribute to bad teeth.
4. Regular dental check-ups:
Visit your dentist by the time your baby’s first tooth appears. Your dentist can detect early tooth decay and provide parents with important information on proper oral and facial development and determine fluoride and necessary treatment needs.
5. Seal teeth:
Ask your dentists to place an invisible protector (sealant) on your child’s molar teeth. Sealants are necessary for children with a history of tooth decay.
6. Prevent tooth trauma:
Wear a mouth guard whenever participating in contact sports to protect your teeth.
7. Reduce bad breath:
Maintaining good oral hygiene, brushing your tongue, eliminating gum disease and having regular dental check-ups are essential to reduce bad breath.