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Guard Teeth from Cavities Every Day

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Sealants — plastic coatings that help guard teeth from cavities — play a big part in keeping your teeth healthy, but they aren’t a magic bullet. The American Dental Association stresses these other key ingredients for keeping your mouth cavity-free:

  • Brushing gently, at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Pay special attention to the gum line.

  • Cleaning between your teeth at least once a day with either floss or interdental cleaners.

  • Eating a balanced diet with limited snacks.

  • Regularly visiting your dentist.

Fluoridated water supplies have also helped reduce dental cavities, but children can get too much fluoride. Make sure children put only a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush, and remind them to rinse out and not swallow both fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Children younger than age 6 should not use a fluoride mouthwash because of the risk of swallowing it.

“Brushing Your Teeth.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.

“Flossing.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.

“Dental Sealants.” Division of Oral Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 10, 2013. Accessed 2013.

“Interim Guidance on Fluoride Intake for Infants and Young Children.” American Dental Association, November 8, 2006. Accessed 2013.

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