WHAT IS PLAQUE?

ORAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Left untreated, tooth and gum problems can cause pain, limit the foods you can eat, ruin your smile and affect your overall health. Professional care is important. Regular check-ups can help find and treat problems early. However, the real key is prevention to avoid tooth and gum problems.

Plaque and young children should not be put to bed with a baby bottle of milk, formula, juice or a sweet drink, such as soda. If you must put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it with plain water. When a baby's teeth come in, you should start gently cleaning them every day with a baby's toothbrush and water. It's best to clean them right before bedtime. When your child is 2 to 3 years old, and is able to spit out after brushing, you can start brushing with a peasized drop of fluoride toothpaste. Children need supervision with tooth brushing until 7 to 8.

DENTAL SEALANTS FOR CHILDREN

Dental sealants are a simple, painless way to help prevent decay. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, especially permanent molars. Children should get sealant on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in - before decay attacks the teeth. The first permanent molars come in between the ages of 5 and 7. The second permanent molars come in when a child is between 11 and 14 years old. Consult your dentist about sealants during your child's first dental visit.

TOBACCO -- NEED MORE REASONS TO QUIT?

 Both smoking and the use of smokeless ("spit) tobacco significantly increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Smoking is also a significant risk factor for gum disease.

To  learn more about prevention and avoiding dental problems, please ask your dentist.

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