This chapter is for all children who can read it for themselves or can read it with help. Anyone who is at secondary school and has science lessons will be able to understand some of the other chapters. I suggest you look at chapters;- 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 8.
It is very important to look after your teeth and gums.
We need our teeth to talk and eat properly and to look nice when we smile.
Our gums hold our teeth in place, so they are important too.
The dentist, the nurse and all the other people at the dental practice are there to teach you how to look after your teeth and gums.
A bit further down this page you will find all the things you need to know to make sure you look after your teeth properly. Keep reading it until you know everything on it [get someone to help you if you need to].
The dentist may test you on all the things it says when you visit.
When you visit the dentist if you do all the right things you may be given a sticker afterwards. This is a reward for children who are;
- polite and friendly to everyone
- who come into the surgery nicely
- climb on the chair
- open their mouths when the dentist asks
- keep nice and still when the dentist is counting and polishing their teeth
- listen carefully to anything the dentist tells them
- know all the things below in HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR TEETH
- say thank you to the dentist and the nurse when they leave the surgery
- tidy up the toys and books in the waiting room when they leave.
There are lots of different stickers to collect, someone will show you.
It is very important for your teeth and gums that you eat a balanced diet.
This means different ‘types’ of foods.
PROTEIN [meat, cheese, fish]
FATS [butter, margarine, olive oil]
CARBOHYDRATES [bread, rice, pasta, potatoes]
FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Different colors of fruit and vegetables have different vitamins and minerals in them, make sure you eat ’5 a day’ and try to eat as many different colors of vegetables as you can.
Raw food is better for you than cooked food.
Brown bread, rice, pasta are better for you than white.
GOOD SNACKS some ideas.
- Pitta bread.
- Bread sticks.
- Cream crackers.
- Rice cakes.
- Crisp bread.
- Oat cakes.
To go on top- cold meat, egg, tinned fish, marmite, cheese, just butter or margarine.
Nuts and seeds [not for under 5s].
Raw fruit [apples, oranges, bananas, pears, kiwi fruit, melon, peaches].
Raw vegetables [carrot sticks, celery, cucumber].
Plain natural yogurt with chopped or pureed fruit.
What you drink is also very important. Fruit juice, fizzy drinks and smoothies are not good for your teeth.
If you have a treat sometimes on a special occasion or a party have your drink with a meal and if possible use a straw to drink it.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR TEETH.
1- Drink only milk or water.
2- Eat ‘5 fruit and veg’ a day, 3 veg, 2 fruit.
3- Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks only.
4- Do not eat too many sugary things.
[These things are; cakes, sweets, biscuits, jam, chocolate spread, sweet breakfast cereals including naturally sweet things like honey, raisins, muesli bars or refined starchy things like crisps or hula-hoops].
Only eat these things with meals not with snacks.
5- Brush your teeth twice a day– in the morning and before you go to bed.
6- Use a toothpaste that is right for your age, because it will have the right amount of fluoride for you to keep the enamel on your teeth strong.
7- Brush your teeth by moving your toothbrush in little circles or use an electric brush.
8- Put a smear of toothpaste on your toothbrush not a sausage shape.
9- When you have finished cleaning your teeth spit out, but don’t rinse so you leave some fluoride on your teeth for a little while.
10- Wait 40 minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking fruit juice, fizzy drinks, fizzy water or eating oranges, grapefruit or satsumas.
So now you know everything about how to look after your teeth, and you also know that it is not the people at the dentist who look after your teeth- it’s you [ with the help of whoever looks after you].
The people at the dentist are there to help you, so if you want to know anything- ask them, don’t be shy, your questions are just as important as a grown ups and your teeth are just as important too.
I hope you find what I have told you useful and understandable. Thank you for reading.