1. Preventive dental care is better than cure.
2. Make it a habit to brush your teeth well daily – at least two times a day. Brushing and flossing your teeth before bed is necessary and very important in the removal of food deposits and the subsequent acid activity on the teeth during sleep.
3. Sweets, chocolates, carbohydrates and sugars in drinks produce the highest amount of acid which damages the teeth and causes cavities or tooth decay.
4. After any snacks, chocolates, sweets and sugary drinks, make it a habit to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth.
5. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They are good for your teeth and health.
6. Chew your food well before swallowing as chewing breaks down food and maximizes nutrition. Chewing also helps to exercise the muscles of the jaws and allows proper growth and development of the face.
7. Do not bite or crunch on ice and hard sweets as they frequently break teeth and fillings.
8. Children who take part in contact sports should wear a mouth-guard to prevent injuries to their front teeth.
9. Looking after and brushing your teeth well are essential for health and looks. Dirty teeth and unhealthy gums encourage bacteria growth in the mouth and lead to gum disease and a smelly mouth. Use toothpaste with fluoride as they protect your teeth from decay.
10. Smoking is bad for the mouth and health. Smoking increases gum infection or periodontitis which in turn increase your risk to systemic diseases like heart attacks, diabetes.
11. See your dentist every 6 months to have your teeth, gums and mouth checked and cleaned.
12. Learn to practice proper and good tooth-brushing and oral health care. It is the key to your overall health.
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.
Dr Lim Swee Teck earned the name Dr. Friendly during his forty-two years of practice in managing children’s dental care over at his clinic in Singapore. He was awarded the National University of Singapore School of Postgraduate Medical Studies scholarship and graduated with a Master of Dental Surgery in 1970. From 2006 to 2009, he recorded his invaluable experiences on pediatric dentistry by authoring “The Healthy Smile Series”, 12-volume series of books for children aims to impart the importance of oral health care to children.
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