Friday, October 8, 2010

Say Cheese!

Dog smiles
This month's health display in Youth Services is about National Dental Hygiene Month, which is sponsored by the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA). While the display poster describes the difference between primary teeth (the first teeth you get) and permanent teeth (the teeth that grow in place of the first teeth you get and lose), we thought we'd also share some tips about how to maintain a healthy smile:
    Kid brushing teeth
  • Brush: Use a soft or extra soft toothbrush for 2 minutes 2 times a day to clean the surfaces of your teeth. Add a pea-sized amount of toothpaste in your favorite flavor. Did you know that toothpaste comes in different types of mint, vanilla, and even cinnamon? Brushing regularly can help stop the build-up of plaque on your teeth and can also reduce the likelihood that you will get a cavity or other dental disease like gingivitis. [Visit ADHA's how-to-brush cheat sheet.]
  • Floss: Flossing regularly can be a challenging routine to begin and maintain. However, flossing is important to remove food particles and plaque that can get stuck between your teeth. Floss can go where your toothbrush can't reach. [Visit ADHA's how-to-floss cheat sheet.]
  • Rinse: Don't forget to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing and flossing. This helps get rid of any particles that may have come loose from brushing and flossing.
  • Limit sugar: You know the saying "An apple a day keeps the dentist away?" Take your cue from this saying and remember to eat your fruit and vegetables. Natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables are healthier than that found in candy, cake, and cookies. And stick to sugarfee gum if possible.
  • Visit your dentist: Dentists recommend that a child's first dental check-up should happen around age 1 or 6 months after his or her first tooth erupts. For more information, download ADHA's flyer.

Would you like more information about teeth and dental health? Ask a Youth Services Librarian!

“On the Path to Good Health” is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

Posted by ws. The dog photo is a personal photo of ws's 4-year-old rescued Silky Terrier. The child brushing his teeth was found at this site during a Google image search.