Tooth Decay (Caries) and Cavity Prevention

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Tooth Decay & Cavity Prevention
Use floss to remove germs and food particles between teeth. Rinse.
Holding Floss
Using floss between lower teeth.
Ease the floss into place gently. Do not snap it into place—this could harm your gums.
Use any tooth brushing method that is comfortable, but do not scrub hard back and forth. Small circular motions and short back and forth motions work well. Rinse.
To prevent decay, it’s what’s on the toothbrush that counts. Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is what protects teeth from decay.
Brush the tongue for a fresh feeling! Rinse again.
Food residues, especially sweets, provide nutrients for the germs that cause tooth decay, as well as those that cause gum disease. That’s why it is important to remove all food residues, as well as plaque, from teeth. Remove plaque at least once a day—twice a day is better. If you brush and floss once daily, do it before going to bed.
Another way of removing plaque between teeth is to use a dental pick—a thin plastic or wooden stick. These picks can be purchased at drug stores and grocery stores.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
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