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Posted on August 15, 2014
What is Behind Your Smile?

Every successful person has a white smile with nice teeth. Just imagine Natalie Portman or Kid Rock or President Obama without a smile. The smile shows your confidence, your ability to take care of yourself, and that others can trust you.

But beyond the smile is the function of your teeth and gums. A healthy mouth is much more than a smile. Your mouth is the gateway to your body and your health shows up in your mouth. If you can imagine eating with an athletic mouthguard on both the upper and lower teeth, you can imagine what false teeth may be like. Did you know cavity rates are on the rise in young children? Did you also know cavities are the number one disease of childhood, five times more than asthma? Cavities are painful, never get better on their own, and are expensive to treat. If you have cavities as a child, it is the best predictor you will have cavities as an adult. Gum disease starts as redness and bleeding in adolescence, but quickly moves to bone loss, exposed roots and sensitivity in adulthood; and it can’t be cured. Missing or crooked teeth may wear other teeth or cause joint pain. These are problems you can entirely avoid! Here are a few tips toward a lifetime of healthy teeth, gums and a smile you can show the world:

1) Brush twice, floss once. A routine of brushing in the morning and right before bed with floss to clean between the teeth is the foundation to great teeth. It is something necessary for health, but doesn’t cost much money and easy to help your kids with. Everyone can brush and floss, and you can see ( and smell) the results!

2) Use Fluoride. Fluoride in your toothpaste acts to cause the minerals in your saliva to zero in on weak areas of the tooth and make them stronger- stronger than the original enamel! Fluoride also reverses plaque acid, kills bacteria, and hangs around in your saliva for one to two hours after brushing. Kids should start using a small pea sized smear at age two if anyone in the house has had cavities!

3) Water Fluoride. Just like toothpaste, fluoride in the water helps prevent cavities, from 18% to 50% less! In Fort Collins and Loveland our water is award winning, so forget bottled water and use the tap! It’s free and good for you.

4) Limit the sweets. Research shows that kids who have more that THREE sugar snacks between meals will overcome any brushing they do to fight cavities. Limit sweets, brush after treats or eat treats at mealtimes to give your saliva time to fight the plaque acid. Snacks like cheese, nuts, or vegetables with peanut butter can give your kids a fun boost without costing much or making plaque acid!

5) Find a Dentist You Like! The dentist should be like your teacher, they should be friendly and always willing to share information in an encouraging way. Find an office you like and one that doesn’t try to make money off you. Good dentists know that a long term relationship built on trust with families is the best way to be successful. These folks can help you along the way with lots of topics from infant dental care to bleaching. Remember who a dentist’s boss is – YOU! Make your relationship with dentistry pay off for your health and smile. You deserve it!