Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Teeth

Gum disease may lead to premature birth, heart disease and/or diabetes

To help prevent tooth disease:

  • Floss at least once a day
  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Limit between-meal snacks, especially snacks high in sugar
  • Brush and floss as soon as possible after eating (don’t wait until bedtime)
  • Avoid using bleaching or whitening kits

At least every 3-4 months:

  • Start using a new toothbrush

At least twice a year:

  • Get regular check-ups from a dentist

Brushing:

Before:

  • Use a toothbrush which has dried out since last being used or was soaked in hydrogen peroxide to reduce risk of bacteria
  • Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth avoid abrasive toothpastes claiming to whiten teeth, which could wear down linings of teeth and gums
  • Avoid sticking bristles into tube of toothpaste to minimize spread of bacteria
  • Use just a pea-size amount of toothpaste for each brushing the brushing action is more important than the toothpaste
  • Wipe off opening of toothpaste tube after dispensing to minimize spread of bacteria

During:

  • Turn off the water as much as possible
  • Keep your back straight
  • Place the toothbrush at your gum line
  • Brush in small gentle circles
  • Brush one or two teeth at a time
  • Brush the outside of your teeth
  • Brush the inside of your teeth
  • Brush your chewing surfaces with a firm back-and-forth motion
  • Brush for at least 2-3 minutes
  • Rinse your mouth with water (don’t drink the water)

After:

  • Place bristle end of toothbrush into hydrogen peroxide to minimize spread of bacteria
  • Spray bristle end of toothbrush with an antiseptic spray to minimize spread of bacteria
  • Rinse with mouthwash

Flossing:

  • It’s more important to floss than to brush

After flossing between two teeth:

  • Get floss out by pulling one end out to the side, vice pulling both ends straight up or down, especially next to crowns/caps

Stains:

To minimize staining:

  • Avoid:
    • Red wine
    • Grape juice
    • Cranberry juice
    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • White wine
    • Cola

Bleaching:

  • Don’t do it if you’re pregnant or nursing

If you knock out a tooth, either:

  • Wash it off and put it back in its place until you can get to a dentist, or,
  • Place it in a cup of water or milk

Then:

  • Rush to a dentist

If you lose a filling:

  • Chew up some sugarless gum
  • will reduce discomfort until the filling is replaced

If braces are recommended:

  • Ask your dentist/orthodontist about Viazis braces (triangular and smaller than traditional braces) which appear to move the teeth faster

If in a foreign country:

To help prevent traveler’s diarrhea:

  • Use only bottled water for brushing your teeth

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