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National Smile Month: Why Brush Your Teeth?

National Smile Month at Time Dental in Farnham Surrey As part of the National Smile Month campaign, at Time Dental we are running a series on the 3 key messages that the campaign is promoting:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend

Today we are looking at brushing the teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Why brush your teeth?

Teeth brushing removes plaque bacteria. Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth and gums. When you eat foods containing sugar and starches the bacteria in the plaque produces acids which attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps the acids in contact with the teeth. After constant acid attacks, the enamel covering the tooth breaks down forming a hole of cavity.

Plaque also causes the gums to become irritated and inflamed. The gums begin to pull away from the teeth and the gaps become infected. If gum disease is not treated quickly, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed and healthy teeth can become loose and fall out. Gum disease is the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults and can eventually lead to a need for dentures, bridges or implants. People who have gum disease are also at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature births.

Why for 2 minutes twice a day?

Twice daily brushing of your teeth and gums and cleaning between your teeth is important because it removes plaque which can build up 2-8 hours after brushing. If the plaque isn’t removed, it continues to build up, feeding on the food debris left behind and causing tooth decay and gum disease. Two minutes is the minimum recommended time to effectively brush your teeth.

Why a fluoride toothpaste?

A fluoride toothpaste should be used to brush teeth. Fluoride helps to strengthen and protect teeth, which can reduce tooth decay.

All children up to three years old, should use a smear of toothpaste with a fluoride level of no less than 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm -1500ppm.

Some children’s toothpastes only have about half the fluoride that adult toothpastes have. They only give limited protection for the teeth. If your children are under 7 you should keep an eye on them when they brush their teeth and encourage them not to swallow the toothpaste.

For more information about national smile month see HERE

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