What is oral health? It’s keeping your teeth, gums and mouth healthy!



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What is oral health?

It’s keeping your teeth, gums and mouth healthy!

Why do you suppose this is important?

Well, let’s take a look at how we use and need our teeth.

Appearance

  • Teeth are very important to your appearance.
  • They not only make a nice smile, but they also shape your face.

Chewing

  • Teeth are important to chew food properly.
  • The chewing of food with your teeth is the first step in the digestion of food.
  • If food cannot be chewed properly, it can cause problems with digestion.

Talking (speech)

  • Teeth are important for speaking
  • Teeth work with the lips, cheeks and tongue, allowing us to pronounce words.
  • At your age, you should have both baby teeth as well as a few permanent teeth. This is called a “mixed dentition”.
  • Although you will eventually replace all of your baby teeth with permanent teeth, it is important that you continue to take care of these baby teeth.

Why? Well, Each Baby Tooth Holds a Place for a Permanent Tooth.

  • Your baby teeth are important place-holders for your permanent teeth.
  • As your permanent teeth come in, they will take up the space left by the loss of your baby teeth.
  • We lose our 20 baby teeth and grow
  • adult teeth because we need bigger,
  • stronger teeth to last the rest of our lives.
  • People get 32 permanent
  • teeth, which can last a
  • lifetime with proper care

Did you know that early loss of your baby teeth could cause problems?

  • Often baby teeth are lost early as a result of tooth decay or accidents. This early loss creates a space.
  • This space needs to be saved in order for the permanent tooth to come in straight. The dentist can save the space by putting in a space maintainer (spacer).
  • When the permanent tooth is ready to come in, the space maintainer is removed.

Late loss of baby teeth can also cause problems...

  • Sometimes permanent teeth
  • come in before baby teeth
  • come out. This can cause teeth to
  • become crowded and overlap each other.
  • Crowded and overlapping teeth can cause gum disease and tooth decay because these crowded areas of the mouth are hard to clean. If these baby teeth do not
  • become loose on their own, the
  • dentist may have to remove them.
  • The permanent teeth are white, the baby teeth are gray.

Now that you understand how important your teeth are, let’s learn about the different parts of a tooth

What a tooth looks like.

  • The CROWN:
  • The part of the tooth above the gums.

What a tooth looks like.

  • The ROOT:
  • The part of the tooth below the gumline.
  • Just as the roots of a tree hold the tree in the ground, the roots of your teeth hold your teeth in your mouth.

The tooth is made of 3 layers:

  • ENAMEL:
  • Covers the crown.
  • Is the protective covering.
  • Is the hardest thing in our body, even harder than bone!

The tooth is made of 3 layers:

  • PULP:
  • Fills the space inside the tooth.
  • Contains blood vessels and nerves that keep the tooth alive!

Now that we know what a tooth looks like, let’s talk about what makes a cavity in your tooth!

  • Cavities are caused by PLAQUE!
  • What is PLAQUE?
    • An invisible film of germs that
    • constantly grows on your teeth.
    • It feels fuzzy. Rub your tongue on your teeth, do they feel fuzzy?
    • You brush your teeth to remove PLAQUE!

Each day a thin film of plaque grows on our teeth

  • This plaque contains “germs” (bacteria).
  • Sugar from foods and drinks are turned into acid by these germs.
  • This acid attacks our teeth and softens the hard surface until a hole or cavity is formed.

How can you avoid getting cavities?

  • Avoid sugary, sticky foods or snacks, and choose nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and cheese
  • Avoid drinking soda or other sugary drinks, and drink more milk & water
  • Avoid snacking all day long, and limit the amount of snacks you have throughout the day
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • Repairing Cavities
  • Does a cavity heal itself?
  • No - only your dentist can
  • fix a cavity, by removing
  • the decay and putting a
  • special filling material
  • in the hole.

Now that you understand what a cavity is let’s take a look at how plaque affects your gums too!

  • When plaque is left on your teeth for a while, harmful “germs” (bacteria) begin to increase and irritate your gum tissues. This causes bleeding and your gums may become sore.
  • This is called gum disease.

To prevent cavities, gum disease and bad breath you need to brush and floss your teeth regularly…

When should you brush your teeth?

  • After eating
  • At bedtime
  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Oral Health Program

How long should you brush?

  • For about two minutes and at least twice each day.

How do you floss your teeth?

  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Oral Health Program

How often should you floss?

  • Once each day to remove plaque from in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • To keep your teeth functioning properly, you must see your dentist regularly.

When you visit the dentist, several things will probably be done…

# 1 A visual exam. A dentist will look at your teeth, gums and the way your teeth come together when you bite. The dentist is looking for tooth decay, gum disease, mouth sores & whether or not you might need braces.

  • # 1 A visual exam. A dentist will look at your teeth, gums and the way your teeth come together when you bite. The dentist is looking for tooth decay, gum disease, mouth sores & whether or not you might need braces.

# 2 X-rays will be taken of all your teeth.

  • These x-rays will show not only tooth decay, but the roots of the teeth and the bone around them.
  • They will also show any teeth that have not come in yet, and any extra teeth as well.

#3

  • #3
  • A Professional Cleaning
  • A dental hygienist will remove any plaque or hard deposits called calculus from your teeth using special instruments.
  • Your teeth will then be polished with a special kind of toothpaste. This will make your teeth feel smooth and clean.

#4

  • #4
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • A flavored gel or foam will
  • be placed in a soft tray and
  • You will be asked to bite into
  • That tray for a few minutes.
  • or
  • The fluoride may be painted on your teeth with a small brush. This is called fluoride varnish.

To prevent cavities from forming on the chewing surfaces of your permanent molars, the dentist might recommend dental sealants.

  • To prevent cavities from forming on the chewing surfaces of your permanent molars, the dentist might recommend dental sealants.
  • Sealants are a thin coating of a plastic-like substance that are painted on the teeth.
  • When it hardens, this plastic coating prevents food and germs from getting down into the grooves on the chewing surfaces of your molars and prevents tooth decay!

So now that you know how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease….it’s up to you to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

  • So now that you know how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease….it’s up to you to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

Thank you for listening!

  • Thank you for listening!
  • For more information on oral health see the Nova Scotia Association Website
  • www healthyteeth.org
  • This presentation has been adapted and used with permission from the Dental Health Program developed by the Clay County Public Health Center.
  • All photos obtained from office.microsoft.com/clipart unless otherwise noted.

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