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For dental care: How to protect your teeth

Updated: Sep 4, 2020 en.nhc.gov.cn Print
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IV. Eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce tobacco, alcohol and areca nuts

Fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of dietary fiber which is important for the human body.

Regular consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products and whole grains rich in calcium, vitamin C and dietary fiber can increase chewing, reduce plaque retention, promote periodontal health, prevent periodontal disease and also prevent caries, mucosal diseases and oral cancer.

Smoking is the main risk factor for oral cancer. More than 90 percent of oral cancer patients are smokers, because tobacco and smoke contain many harmful substances that can cause and promote cancer.

Tongue cancer and floor of the mouth cancer are the main oral cancers easily caused by alcohol, because repeated contact between alcohol and the mucosa of the tongue and the bottom of the mouth causes mucosal burns and increase the absorption of carcinogens. The higher the alcohol content, the greater the risk of cancer.

Betel nut has been listed as a first-level carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Chewing betel nut is an important risk factor for oral cancer.

V. Promote breastfeeding and healthy eating habits

All deciduous teeth and most of the permanent teeth are formed and calcified in the infant period, which is also the period of rapid growth and development of the body.

Breast milk is the best natural food for babies. It has many advantages such as high calories and an abundance of various nutrients needed by babies. It is beneficial to babies' digestion, absorption and disease resistance.

It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed the baby for six months, and then to introduce supplementary food. Breastfeeding can be extended to up to two years of age. Sugar should not be added to baby food or drinks.

Childhood is the best time to develop good eating habits. At present, many fine foods on the market can melt in the mouth immediately and are sweet and sticky, and can be swallowed without chewing hard. On the one hand, they can cause accumulation of food residues on the surface of the teeth and reproduction of dental plaque, which may induce caries. In addition, they are not conducive to the development of the mouth and jaw or training in the chewing function.

It is recommended that parents prepare a diet with no added sugar or low added sugar for their children, so that they do not have a partiality for a particular kind of food and love to eat foods with less salt, oil and sugar. The development of healthy dietary habits will benefit them for life.

VI. Avoid pregnancy with oral diseases

Receiving complex oral treatments in the early and late stages of pregnancy will increase the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery due to factors such as tension and pain.

Therefore, women need to take oral health examinations in preparation for pregnancy to detect and deal with oral diseases or hidden dangers in time and avoid the inconvenience and risk of oral emergencies that may occur during pregnancy.

VII. Clean the mouth, rinse your mouth and use dental floss

Diet and bacteria are the most important factors leading to caries and periodontal diseases, so removing plaque is the basis for maintaining oral health. Brushing can remove dental plaque, soft dirt and food residue, and maintain oral hygiene and the health of teeth and periodontal tissue.

Using fluoride toothpaste is currently recognized as the safest, easy, low-cost and effective measure for caries prevention in the world. Fluoride toothpaste can be used after teething.

To ensure safety and effectiveness, it is recommended that infants and children aged 0-3 use fluoride toothpaste with a fluoride concentration of 500-1100 mg/kg, and the dosage should be the size of a rice grain (15-20 mg). The amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3-6 years old should be the size of a pea; the amount of fluoride toothpaste for children after 6 years old and adults should be the size of a soybean.

Plaque can reattach to the clean tooth surface and continue to form a few hours after teeth brushing. Especially after falling asleep at night, with reduced secretion of saliva, and poor self-cleaning effect of the mouth, the bacteria are more likely to grow. Therefore, brush the teeth at least twice a day, and it is more important to brush the teeth before going to bed at night.

It is recommended to brush the teeth softly and horizontally. The bristles of the toothbrush cannot fully reach the gap between teeth when brushing. If you can use dental floss or an interdental brush to help clean the gap between teeth after brushing the teeth every day, you can thoroughly clean the teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate saliva secretion, reduce oral acidity, and help keep the breath fresh and the teeth clean.

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