I love the feeling right after just brushing my teeth! That minty aftertaste is just so good…
When Lexa was little it was easy to brush her teeth. She didn’t bite down or refuse to open her mouth. Some days, now that she is 2, it is easy and other days I want to crawl up the walls – because she now wants to brush her own teeth!
She mimics the brushing actions when you brush in front of her, but she also likes to just eat the toothpaste and bite onto her toothbrush. I usually try to get in and brush her teeth first and then let her play around… just to make sure we keep those little teeth healthy.
Lexa uses the 0 to 2 toothpaste from Colgate. Currently she has a Barbie toothbrush (I’m so jealous).
Practising good oral hygiene is the first step to a healthy mouth
Practising good oral hygiene is the first line of defence against oral health conditions. Oral health, in turn, impacts on overall wellbeing. Signs of a healthy mouth include teeth that are clean and free of food debris, gums that are healthy and pink without pain when brushing or flossing, and no bad breath.
Did you know that 60-90% of school children worldwide have dental cavities?
In response to this, Colgate-Palmolive South Africa is running a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative called “Buy A Brush, Help A Child” in partnership with the Dis-Chem Foundation. “For every toothbrush bought at a participating Dis-Chem pharmacy, a toothbrush, toothpaste and access to information concerning good oral hygiene will be provided to a child in need,” says Savitha Govender, Marketing Manager Oral Care for Colgate-Palmolive South Africa.
“Through raising awareness and initiatives such as this, we can make a difference by coming together and encouraging people to make good oral hygiene a top priority.”
Buy a brush, help a child
Many children in South Africa need help with their teeth. “Dental cavities are the most prevalent childhood condition in our country,” says Colgate Oral Care Professional, Dr Stephanus Crous. “We are faced with an overwhelming burden of treatment that is needed for oral care conditions. Colgate assists our country’s healthcare system to promote good oral hygiene through programmes like the Bright Smiles, Bright Future and the Buy a Brush, Help a Child CSI initiative, by providing oral health education, free toothbrushes and toothpastes to children in grades R-3.”
As part of the Buy a Brush, Help a Child initiative, when children receive their toothbrush and toothpaste, they are taught the importance of practicing good oral hygiene, how to brush their teeth correctly and which foods to eat for healthy teeth and gums. In addition, each child takes a brochure with this information home to their parents, and their teachers receive an educational poster for the classroom.
The initiative makes it easy for members of the public to make a difference through one simple action – especially given that it is important to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. According to Colgate Oral Care Professional, Dr Sam Naidoo, “you should change your toothbrush approximately every three months, as the bristles gradually wear down and then become less effective in removing plaque. Germs can also build up on the brush over time, which may lead to oral care problems. It is also a good idea to change your toothbrush after an illness, to prevent possible reinfection.”
So, all the more reason to buy a brush and help a child today!
Good oral hygiene with Colgate-Palmolive
Dr Naidoo discusses overcoming common oral health conditions:
If you experience pain when eating hot or cold foods, you could suffer from sensitive teeth.
Sometimes, tooth sensitivity arises from brushing with too much force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, thereby wearing away enamel, the protective layer that coats teeth.
Other causes of tooth sensitivity are receding gums, and damage caused by consuming highly acidic foods and beverages, such as fizzy drinks.
To help relieve sensitive teeth, use a soft toothbrush and avoid brushing hard. In addition, switching to a toothpaste and mouthwash intended for sensitive teeth may also help to soothe this. If pain continues, visit a dentist.
The health of your mouth, especially your gums, can affect the rest of your body.
To spot gum problems, look out for some of the following symptoms: gum sensitivity with swelling or redness; bad breath; a bad taste in your mouth; receding gums; and loose or moving teeth.
As always, prevention is better than cure. To encourage good gum health, keep your mouth clean by brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush and flossing. Keep to a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, seeds and sardines, to encourage healthy bones and teeth. If possible, quit smoking and go for regular dental check-ups.
It is important to visit a dentist if you experience painful gums, to prevent further deterioration and possible loss of teeth.
Bad breath can be embarrassing, but this is a common problem that can usually be easily remedied. The first step is always to practise good oral hygiene – failure to brush and floss your teeth daily allows food debris to remain in your mouth, enabling germs to flourish between the teeth and gums, and on your tongue, thereby causing bad breath.
However, bad breath can sometimes be due to a deeper underlying cause, so if it continues, visit a dentist.
With time, your teeth become yellow from certain foods and drinks. If you are a smoker, this can also cause your teeth to become grey and discoloured. Prevention begins with good oral care habits, such as brushing twice a day, and avoiding stain-causing foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, wine, and dark sauces. Using a toothpaste designed to whiten teeth may also help.
This is where I hang out… I use teeth-whitening toothpaste as I have a nasty coffee habit. I have started using the Optic White from Colgate – so, lets see how it goes 🙂
How should you be brushing your teeth anyway?
Instead of me explaining how we should be brushing our teeth I’m sharing this demonstration from Colgate-Palmolive or you can read it below.
The correct way to brush your teeth as recommended by Colgate-Palmolive South Africa
- For effective oral cleaning, use a soft toothbrush with slim, tapered bristles.
- Hold the toothbrush horizontally against the teeth, with bristles part-way on the gums.
- Tilt the brush at a 450 degree angle, so bristles are pointing under the gum line.
- Brush in small circles, focusing on the areas between the gum edge and tooth to gently remove plaque.
- Roll or flick brush so bristles move toward the biting edge of the tooth.
- Finally brush your tongue gently from back to front.
- Rinse with water to complete the procedure.
“Ideally you should change your toothbrush every three months, as the build-up of germs can lead to oral care problems,” says Naidoo. “In addition, frayed bristles are not as effective in removing plaque. I also recommend changing your toothbrush if you have been ill, so as to prevent reinfection.”
There is no easier way to boost confidence than with a bright, beautiful smile. Healthy teeth and gums and fresh breath will have you grinning from ear to ear!
For more information visit Colgate SA YouTube page or Colgate’s Oral care centre on www.colgate.com/en-za/oral-health
Okay, now for the part where you can win!
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