How to Properly Care for Teeth

H.J. thinks, "My Grammy has good teeth"
H.J. thinks, "My Grammy has good teeth" | Source

Can You Afford Not To Take Good Care Of Your Teeth

You may be able to afford the best dental care, but nothing is as effective as your own healthy teeth for chewing or smiling. Barring illness and accidents, daily cleansing of your teeth will keep your teeth strong and clean. If you have weak teeth there are all sorts of rinses and tooth pastes that will help.

Smile Factor

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Proper Care Of Your Teeth

The proper care of your teeth is the easiest and least expensive way to prevent bad breath, cavities and gum disease. A person with a nice smile is more likely to smile than a person with bad teeth. People who smile are considered friendly and pleasant. This is a positive trait that helps get jobs and leads many people to success.

People who never smile are considered grumpy even though they may only be embarrassed by discolored or crooked teeth.

Stigma Attached To The Condition Of Your Teeth

Have you ever looked at at a 6 year old who has lost her front teeth and thought,"How cute"? Everyone knows 6 year old children lose baby teeth. We know in a few months there will be adult teeth to fill in the space. When we see an adult without teeth we don't think it is cute. We think," Poor dear she needs a bridge or false teeth".

There is stigma attached to bad teeth. My mom had gold fillings outlining her front teeth until the advent of porcelain fillings. She hated having her picture taken because her teeth had those fillings. After the porcelain fillings she started to smile again.

As medicine advances it has become apparent that good dental hygiene is more important than to help our vanity.

Many of you may have heard poor dental health may be linked to heart disease. The answer is still out on that theory, but there are links between other diseases and dental health.

This Toothbrush Almost Eliminates The Need For Flossing

Diabetes And Tooth Decay

Diabetes has been linked to gum disease which, can lead to tooth loss. Fungal infections and inflammatory infections of the mouth can be caused by improperly managed diabetes. When diabetes isn't controlled glucose in your saliva increases. Sugar (glucose) attracts germs and fungus that cause gum disease and cavities.

Cancer and Dental Health

Chinese medicine looks at the tongue first to determine a diagnosis. Other forms of medicine are beginning to examine the connection between plaque build up and cancer.

Get Into The Habit

Every dentist will tell you to get a check up every six months, Do not worry if you can't afford check ups. There is a great deal you can do to have a healthy mouth and good teeth even when you don't have access to good dental care.

If you are a parent this is where you start with your children.

Have you heard of, "Monkey see monkey do"? One day H.J. was visiting. He wasn't walking yet so I sat him on the floor next to where I was brushing my teeth. He stared at me brushing, then made a fuss until I found a new toothbrush in the drawer and gave it to him. He proudly put the tooth brush into his mouth then started attacking his teeth Like he knew what he was doing. His parents had started to brush his teeth at home, so he really did know what to do.

Let yourchildren see you brush your teeth. Wipe their teeth when they have just a few tiny teeth and make tooth brushing a habit. Start the habit early.

When the only time you see the dentist is for check ups you will never regret this early start; The kids will thank you when they don't have dental insurance, but do have good teeth..

Steps To Proper Tooth Brushing

You need:

  • A tooth brush that fits your hand and mouth. When the brush is too big spots get missed and brushing is uncomfortable. (soft bristles are gentlest on your gums)
  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Mirror
  • Dental floss
  • Rinse (Your dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse for kids and adults with weak teeth)

Looking at your teeth pick a spot to begin.

  1. Brush With your tooth brush at a slight angle toward the gums, brush each tooth with a circular motion. Move from one tooth to the next all around your mouth. Next brush the insides of the top teeth then move on to the outside of your lower teeth and lastly brush the insides of the bottom teeth. Make sure if you are right handed to pay special attention to the teeth on the right side. If you are left handed pay special attention to the left side. It is easy to miss the the teeth on the dominate side..
  2. Give your tongue a quick brush.
  3. Floss (Using between 12- 18 inches of the floss gently press a clean section of floss between each of your teeth. Gently going around each tooth in a "C" configuration and into the gum.
  4. Alternatives to Flossing include using little brushes that fit between your teeth, dental toothpicks and Sonic Care tooth brush.
  5. Rinse your mouth and tooth brush after each use.
  6. Repeat at least the brushing process twice a day.


Chemotherapy And Dental Care

If you are going to have chemotherapy see the dentist for a check-up, if possible, before starting.

Gentle cleaning and care of your teeth may determine how well you tolerate chemo.

After each round of chemo my mouth became sore and painful. There were days when my mouth hurt so badly I couldn't eat. Chemo drugs generally won't hurt your teeth, but will affect your gums and mouth; the lining of the mouth and gums are fast growing cells. These are the kinds of cells chemotherapy generally attacks..

Dental care while going through chemo is similar to regular dental care with some exceptions.

  • Use a soft tooth brush
  • Use gentle tooth paste or baking soda
  • Instead of trying to use mouth wash make a mixture of 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt mixed in 8 ounces of warm water . Mouth wash can burn your mouth during chemotherapy.
  • You may consider brushing more frequently during chemo.
  • Consider asking your chemotherapy nurse for additional help with dental hygiene.
  • Chemotherapy can cause dry mouth. It is sometimes helpful to use Biotene rinse to help keep your mouth moist,

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Habits Take Three Weeks

Habits take approximately three weeks to acquire. Properly brushing your teeth may seem like a bother, but the rewards last throughout your entire life.

Are you willing to take the challenge and brush twice a day and floss at least once a day? If you will let me know and I will cheer for you. If you already brush and floss daily I am cheering right now. Good work!

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Comments 34 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Well done hub. I lost some in Chemo and it weakened all of them.

you are of course right in your advice.

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Vickiw 3 years ago

Great Hub, and a good reminder to everyone. Dental care is so important.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Ericdierker- Sorry you lost teeth. Thanks for visiting.

Vickiw- Nothing replaces your own choppers.

Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

Great hub on dental health as a timely reminder. Even with all of the advances and options available today, I agree that nothing replaces your own choppers.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Gail- So true. My dental cleaning went really well. I actually started practicing what I wrote the beginning of the week, it doesn't take long to even brighten your teeth with just good brushing.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

A fine and useful hub. The importance of regular dental care which includes brushing twice a day and correctly cannot be overemphasized.

Thanks. Voted up, useful.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Thanks for visiting rajan.

Express10 profile image

Express10 3 years ago from East Coast

This is a very useful hub. I've gotten into the habit of flossing at least once or twice a day because once daily doesn't always cut it, and brushing two or three times a day for the same reason. Thanks for discussing Chemo as well.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Express10- Agree that once a day doesn't always do the trick for flossing.

CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Great useful hub with completely wonderful advice on the subject that we sometimes take for granted. Not me though. :) I'll confess, I'm quite harsh in brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash and it's just not complete without doing so, 2 or 3 times a day.

I didn't realize the connection of cancer/chemo on the general dental care until after reading this hub. So, thank you for the additional info.

Voting up and passing it along.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

CrisSp- Nice to meet you have enjoyed your comments.

tebo profile image

tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

A very good hub on the importance of dental care. And you are so right it is important to get children into good habits as early as possible, so that it becomes a routine for them.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

tebo-The little girl next door prompted this hub. She is 7 and has had two root canals. She brushes when she is with her dad and step mom, but never brushes when she is with her mom, who lives with her parents. Sigh....

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Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi tirelesstraveler,

I brush my teeth twice a day. I am working on flossing everyday.

Loved the peanuts video. My sister has been brushing her border collie's teeth since he was a puppy. He knows when it is time for his teeth to be brushed and will wait outside the bathroom door. :)

Voted up and sharing

Have a great weekend

thost profile image

thost 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Great advice, thank you. I will vote up.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

thost, thank you for the vote.

khmazz profile image

khmazz 3 years ago from South Florida

Great, important inforamtion! Thanks for sharing, voted up!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

khmazz, Thanks for stopping in and voting. Teeth, everyone has them, and nobody wants to worry about them, but they are important:)

Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Great hub and useful information about dental health. It is very important to care for our teeth, it is so easy to ignore it. Voted up.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Hi Vellur, Nice to see you.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very useful information, tireless. I'm including a link to this hub in my hub, Dental, gum and teeth disease.

Also voting this up and useful.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

rajan, Thank you for the link.

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi tirelesstraveler,

Informative article with spot on advice. Nothing can replace our own teeth and looking after them properly pays dividends in the end. Correct brushing makes a world of difference. Voted up, useful, interesting and shared on!

younghopes profile image

younghopes 3 years ago from India

These are simply useful and worth opting for advises, we often neglect our teeth and thus suffers a lot, voted up and sharing

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Younghopes, Thank you for visiting. , I wish I could teach everyone the importance of caring teeth.

Suzie HQ nice to see you. Thanks for sharing.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I'm a strong believer in taking care of teeth. I'm nearly 82 and do have some issues, but am dealing with them. It includes getting some implants.

In addition to flossing, brushing thoroughly, rinsing, I am a proponent of using a Water Pic or similar apparatus. Even after performing the other actions of brushing and flossing, the water pic sometimes flushes out little bits of food, especially from under bridges, which even the floss and needle under them misses. It also stimulates the gums.

Even though I've always tried to be conscientious about my teeth care, get regular checkups, regular vistas to the hygienist, I wish I'd been more careful at times. There is no way to reverse damage, but any time one launches good or better dental hygiene is valuable! Your advise is excellent~! Thank you!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Nellieanna, I agree wish I had been more careful when I was younger. Water pic is not something I had thought of. Thanks for the excellent suggestion. Thank you for visiting.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I hadn't thought of it till about a year and a half ago when a conscientious dental hygienist emphasized its value and importance. She was so delighted that I took her advise and got one, too! So I use it twice a day, to good advantage, I believe.

I've always done a lot of mouth rinsing with clear water before flossing & thoroughly brushing to dislodge particles of food. So imagine my surprise when, after the water rinsing, the closing and brushing, - the water pic finds a few more particles, which otherwise would just lie there doing damage! It's just one more step (and bother!) in the effort to hang onto teeth as long as possible. It's well worth it. I so want to avoid dentures as long as possible.

Like you obviously do, I wish I could impress people to tend to their teeth better. The little hygienist I mention is Chinese and regrets that her own mother refuses to attend to her teeth care, though she is always interested in her grooming otherwise.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Well done. This Hub had a certain bite to it. Smile. Two minutes per brushing and a good mouth washing afterwards.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Perspycacious, LoL. Thanks for the visit.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Flossing is so so important; I know an old man in his eighties has never lost a permanent tooth and he does not even brush at night; only flosses. I said yuck old man (well I didn't say old man) you need to brush every night but I am thinking wow, I hope I have all my teeth when I am 80! But apparently flossing does so much! No particles, no cavities?

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

LoL, I have a friend who is 83 and I call him old man all the time. At the dentist last month my hygienist asked if I used an electric tooth brush. I don't, and I seldom floss. I use a little toothpick like brush several times a day. There are all sorts of neat things to use for cleaning teeth.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I floss in bed while online at night; lol, cause the very last thing I do is brush my teeth and by then I would be too tired for flossing and would no doubt let it go; so I guess we do each have different ways and long as it gets done; doesn't matter!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Jackie you made me laugh. Delighted you visited.

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