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16 January 2006

You and your teeth

Teeth - the only part of your body unable to heal itself.

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Taking care of your teeth

Mike realised when he got to work that he had forgotten to brush his teeth as he had overslept and was running late. It was the second time that week. The oral hygienist had much to say to Mike about dental care the last time he was there.

Tooth decay can happen to anyone. This decay is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth. The bacteria cling to the teeth and form a sticky, colourless film called dental plaque. The bacteria live on sugars and produce decay causing acids that dissolve minerals on tooth surfaces. Sometimes the bacteria can also cause the gums to get inflamed. This condition is called periodontis.

Things to remember

  • Ask your dentist or oral hygienist about correct brushing and flossing
  • Thorough brushing twice a day removes the plaque
  • Gently brush the teeth on all sides with a soft bristle brush. Use circular and short back-and- forth movements
  • Flossing keeps the gums healthy and removes plaque and leftover food not reached by a normal toothbrush.
  • Anti-bacterial mouthwash also helps to control plaque and swollen gums

“My dentist told me recently to spend more time with my gums.” Rita Rudner

 
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