The greatest breakthrough in preventive dentistry during the last sixty five years has been the use of fluoride.   Approximately 72.4% of the U.S. population served by public water systems receive the benefit of optimally fluoridated water for the prevention of tooth decay.  In fact, fluoridation of public water systems can reduce cavities in baby teeth by 60 per cent and those in permanent teeth by 40 per cent.  There are many benefits in the use of fluoride for people of all ages.  When children are young and their teeth are forming, fluoride joins with the enamel surface making it harder and more resistant to decay.  The benefits for adults are just as great.  Fluoride can help repair an early cavity, even before it’s visible in the mouth, by rebuilding the enamel layer of the teeth.  Fluoride is also helpful in older adults, to help solve the problem of cavities in the tooth root or with root sensitivity.   Fluoride is an important part of every prevention program.  When combined with the good dental habits of brushing and flossing, the number of cavities in children and adults can be dramatically reduced.

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Brushing your teeth daily plays an important role for personal oral hygiene. Appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance are also important. The ADA recommends that consumers replace toothbrushes approximately every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed with use. Remember to always take good care of your toothbrush.
*Never share toothbrushes.
*Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris.
*Replace your toothbrush after being sick.
*Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers- a moist environment such as a closed container is more conducive to the growth of bacteria.
* Typically children’s toothbrushes need replacing more frequently than adult brushes.

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Proper care of your teeth and gums can help you avoid common diseases like gingivitis. Here are five tips that adults should do each day to keep oral hygiene in tip top shape.
*Use an Electric Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes work harder by pushing fluid between teeth and around the gum line, which provides a more effective cleaning.
* Floss at Night
It is very important to brush, floss and scrape your tongue every night to get rid of bacteria and go to bed with your mouth as clean as possible.
* Select the Right Toothpaste
Be cautious of any toothpaste that promises to “whiten” teeth.
* Don’t Forget Mouthwash
By using mouthwash before you brush, it can loosen particles of food that may not be fully removed by brushing and flossing.
* Eat Foods Good for Healthy Teeth
Certain foods naturally cleanse your teeth while you eat them. Load up on fruits like strawberries and pineapple and vegetables like kale and broccoli.

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Regular dental check-ups and preventative dental care such as cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, provide your child with “smile” insurance. Plan your child’s first dental visit within six months after the first tooth erupts, but no later than his or hers first birthday. Consider it a “well baby check-up” for your child’s teeth.
During your child’s first visit, your dentist will check:
***for cavities
***to see how well the teeth are being cleaned and offer suggestions if necessary
***to make sure the proper number of teeth have erupted.
***to see that your child is receiving the proper amount of fluoride and to.
*** Answer any questions or concerns that parents may have.
Routine dental exams will help assess your child’s dental health through the years. By age seven, it is recommended that your child receive an orthodontic evaluation.
Your dentist is always there to provide key information to help you take of your child’s oral health.

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Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you.  That’s why it’s important to take care of your teeth. Remember cavities aren’t just for kids!  Here are some helpful tips that teens should keep in mind.  Always brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes.  Floss between your teeth daily.  Avoid sugary and starchy snacks.  Wear a mouth guard when you are active in sports.  Do not use tobacco products.  You will never have to worry about quitting, if you never start.  Don’t pierce your lips or tongue; the metal could cause complications with your teeth. If you are unhappy with your smile or think you need braces, talk to your parents and dentist. It’s very important that you see your dentist on a regular basis. Keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.

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Scuba Diving

Problems with dental work can affect you in many ways, besides the more obvious ailments associated with eating or chewing. SCUBA diving is one activity where dental problems can sometimes become an issue.
For example, if there is an unexpected air pocket within a tooth, a diver may experience a dental barotrauma. This occurs when the air in such a pocket expands as the diver comes to the surface, putting pressure on fillings or nerves.
Divers can also experience problems with muscles of the jaw, caused by biting down on the regulator mouthpiece. This may require a custom-fitted mouthpiece to maintain better alignment of your teeth.
For more information on diving-related medical problems, go to alert diver dot com. For general information about SCUBA diving, call the Tupelo Aquatic Center.

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Dentures / Mini Implants

Sometimes our teeth and their roots become irreparably damaged and have to be removed. Because teeth are such an important part of the body, their loss can have an emotional impact on some people. Replacement teeth that are natural looking need to be considered by the patient to help alleviate any fears, anxiety, or other emotions. A complete or partial denture is used most often when a replacement is needed. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth and is removable. Patients of any age can lose some of their teeth and may require a denture of some sort.
Dental implants are a possible alternative to dentures. Implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge in place.
Procedural advancements also include the development of narrower “mini” implants. Talk with your dentist to see whether dentures or mini-dental implants are right for you.

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