Oral Health News

February 2018

Keys to a healthy smile

This year's National Children's Dental Health Month campaign slogan is "Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile."

Why fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally. When fluoride is used in the mouth, it can become part of the teeth, making them stronger. Strong teeth are less likely to get cavities, or holes, in them. Fluoride can protect healthy teeth and can rebuild (or re-mineralize) weakened enamel. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of teeth. Fluoride wraps your teeth in a blanket of protection.

Why clean between?

Toothbrushes only reach the tops (chewing surfaces), cheek-sides, and tongue-sides of teeth. We need a different tool to clean the front and back sides of teeth (the sides that are next to other teeth). Dental floss, floss holders/picks, and inter-proximal brushes (tiny brushes designed to fit between teeth) can be used to clean these areas.

If you wash your hands without cleaning between your fingers, are your hands clean? No! Germs like to hide in between spaces. If you brush your teeth but don't floss, are your teeth clean?

More resources

National Children's Dental Health Month

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