Dental Hygiene Lesson for Kids: Facts & Tips

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Who doesn't love having a smile that they are proud to wear? Well, dental hygiene is a big part of that! Come and learn why dental hygiene is important, as well as some dental hygiene tips.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

Washing your hands. Taking a shower or bath. Cleaning your clothes. These are just a few things that you do to stay healthy and clean, also known as hygiene. Not only does hygiene keep you smelling good and looking fresh, these practices can also keep you safe from bacteria which could develop into health problems. Dental hygiene consists of the steps that you should take to keep your gums and teeth healthy, your breath minty fresh and maintain that million dollar smile that you were born with!

How to Brush

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important steps in dental hygiene. All you need is a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. You should brush at least twice a day: once in the morning and once before bedtime. Brushing is important because it keeps your teeth safe from the food that you eat. Now, this doesn't mean that food is dangerous. It just means that food should not be left on your teeth for too long! After all, who wants to walk around with pieces of popcorn, hot dogs and candy stuck in their mouth? Gross!

If you go a long time without brushing, plaque begins to build up on your teeth. Plaque is a harmful bacteria that grows on your teeth. You can't see it, as it is clear and sticky. However, just because something can't be seen doesn't mean that it can't do damage. If plaque remains on your teeth, it can lead to toothaches, loss of teeth and cavities. Cavities are holes that are formed when your tooth starts to decay, or rot.

Check out the plaque on the top picture
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Here are a few tips to make sure you are brushing correctly:

• Sing the ABC's three times in your head while you brush. This will make sure that you are brushing your teeth for the right amount of time.

• Do not brush too hard - this can damage your gums. Instead, brush gently and move the brush in a circular motion.

• Use toothpaste with fluoride in it. The fluoride is what you need to remove the plaque.

• Replace your toothbrush with a new one every 2-3 months. Bacteria collects on toothbrushes, so this will prevent you from getting sick.

• Brush your tongue at least once a day to keep fresh breath.

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